LUKE Haines headed in the winner as Chippenham Town made it back-to-back wins in National League South following a 1-0 win over nine-man Maidstone United on Saturday.

In a first half that saw two straight red cards for the visitors, Swindon Town loanee Scott Twine also had his penalty saved by Maidstone’s 'keeper Chris Lewington to ensure the game remained goalless at the break.

But as the Bluebirds continued to press forward using their numerical advantage, Twine’s fellow Swindon loanee Haines rose highest in the 73rd minute to plant a header into the back of the net and secure all three points for Mike Cook’s men.

Despite playing against nine men for almost an hour, the Chippenham manager felt his side were always in control against a gritty and industrious Maidstone.

He said: “Personally, I thought both incidents were red cards.

“Whenever things like that happen to us it seems like no one gets sent off, so in this case, why not?

“But even before they went down to nine I thought we were the better team when it was 11 against 11 anyway.

“It would have helped if Scott Twine had scored the penalty from the first red card.

“If we went in to half-time at 1-0 up, they would have come out with a slightly different formation.

“Maidstone sat back after the break and became difficult to break down.”

Rhys Tyler hit the bar just before the half-time whistle, but the hosts were continually frustrated by Maidstone once the game resumed.

An enforced substitution in goal for the visitors signalled the way their afternoon was going before Haines stepped up late on to compound the Stones’ misery.

Cook insisted the old cliché about finding it difficult to break down a reduced side rang true once again before a training ground move paved the way for Chippenham’s second league victory in as many games.

He said: “We had enough chances to score, we just didn’t take them.

“For me, it was just as hard to break nine down as it is against 10 – especially when they set up the way they did in the second half.

“The goal is a training ground move – without giving too much away, there were three or four things that had to happen for it to come off.

“The lads messed it up a few times in that game, but it’s going to take time for us to get used to doing things in a certain way still.

“But overall, I thought we deserved the three points, so I’m really pleased.”