Thu, Oct
53 New Articles


No wonder Gavin Hoyte looked so chuffed to score against Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday.

When the former Arsenal man finished Zihni Temelci's cross to put Maidstone 3-1 up, it was just the third goal of his 12-year professional career.

No one was more deserving than the popular defender who is approaching double figures for assists this season getting forward from right-back.

His only other goals came in Barnet's 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers in January 2016 and for Eastleigh in a 2-1 victory at Torquay in January 2018.

"I'm delighted to score," said Hoyte.

"I don't get many chances but when I do it's a good moment.

"I've scored two goals in my career, that's the third, so I'm buzzing with that.

"At the start of the season I try and set myself a target for assists and goals.

"The goals one never comes but I wanted one this year and I've got that, so hopefully I can get some more.

"With the assists, they tell me to cross it and someone's got to be there.

"That's what I try and do and it's normally Dan Wishart on the end of it so a lot of credit goes to him."

Hoyte, who made his Premier League debut for Arsenal at Manchester City in 2008, has excelled at Maidstone.

He arrived at the Gallagher on the back of a frustrating season with Dagenham, having barely featured under Peter Taylor.

But reunited with John Still, the man who first took him to the Daggers, the 29-year-old has been ever-present.

He loves playing for Still and Hakan Hayrettin and that shows in his performances.

Hoyte said: "I played maybe five or six games last year so it's good to get a run and get that confidence back.

"I'm enjoying my football as well, so that's the main thing, enjoying it, playing every week and trying to help the team as much as I can.

"I know how John likes to play and it's good because I know my job, I've got to try and cross the ball and stop crosses at the other end.

"He nails it on what he wants you to do and I think I'm trying to implement that into my game and it's helping me massively.

"John and Hak get the best out of me and I need to carry that on."

Even after a career that's taken in the likes of Watford and Brighton, as well as Arsenal, Hoyte can still improve.

"Hak's been on to me since the start of the season to be a bit louder," said Hoyte.

"I definitely think you can bring that into your game and he's helping me to do that.

"I'm older now, I've got a lot of experience and I think he wants me to relay that on the pitch and help other players."

Maidstone hope to kick on in the second half of the season.

They're just outside the National South play-offs at the turn of the year but Still's sides generally get stronger after Christmas.

With that in mind, plus the club's excellent support, Hoyte is confident of a promotion challenge.

He said: "The Dulwich win was big for us and now we've got to push on.

"It's one game at a time, we can't think too far ahead, but we've got the players to do it and the fans are always behind us.

"They're a great set of fans.

"The noise, it does push us along, and it's great.

"After I scored I heard them singing my name and that's pretty special.

"We're in Conference South, you would never have thought you would get this amount of support and noise. Credit to them."