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Hopper plays 45 minutes against Maidstone United

8 October 2019

Tom Hopper stepped up his return from injury, playing 45 minutes in a behind closed doors game against Maidstone United.

Craig Fagan named Nathan Bishop, Joe Shaughnessy, Timothee Dieng, Layton Ndukwu alongside Hopper in the side which ran out 3-1 winners.

Eren Kinali scored the first after Hopper had chased down and won the ball back off Maidstone defender George Elokobi, Ndukwu scored a second, curling in a free kick, before Tom Clifford settled it with another free kick.

And Hopper spoke of his delight to come through unscathed and said it was another step on his road to recovery.

"It was nice. You’ve got to start somewhere and today was that starting step getting 45 minutes under my belt which felt good.

"It’s been a long 11 and a half months but to even be back in the pre-match build-up and getting back into that routine of preparing for a game, it’s been nice and a long time coming.

"It was a good competitive game as well which was nice to come back into.

"I probably got a bit too excited in the first 10 minutes but I got my second wind.

"The legs felt good and I felt sharp so it’s another building step on that long journey of rehab and I feel good after it.

"Hopefully now I will keep building on that and the more time I get to do that the sharpness will improve and hopefully I just feel better and better."

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