Maidstone announce signing of Rooks forwards Booth and Draycott

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Former league outfit Maidstone United have announced the signing of two Lewes strikers.

Paul Booth and Ian Draycott’s departure was revealed online by the Kent team yesterday.

The club website said: “Maidstone United are pleased to announce our first two new signings of the summer in the shape of strikers Paul Booth and Ian Draycott, both of whom have joined us from Ryman Premier side Lewes.

“Paul Booth will most likely be a familiar name to Stones fans following his stint at Tonbridge Angels in the 2009-10 season. Paul has been a prolific goalscorer at step 2 for many years and was the Conference South’s top scorer and player of the year back in 2008, firing Lewes into the Conference Premier in the process.

“A resident of Wateringbury, Paul also won promotion to the Conference with Gravesend back in 2002 and has also played for Welling United, Cambridge City, Havant & Waterlooville and Farnborough. The 35-year-old notched 18 goals last year for the Rooks as they fell just short of a place in the Ryman Premier play-off places.”

The Stones statement went on: “Previous to signing for Lewes in 2011, Maidstone-based Ian Draycott has spent the majority of his career at Bedford Town and played for the club in the Conference South back in the 2006-07 season, scoring 11 league goals in 28 appearances. After a short stint at Hitchin in 2008, Ian rejoined Bedford and was a consistent scorer in the Southern League Premier until he joined Lewes, for whom he grabbed eight goals for last season.”

Maidstone United were a Football League team between 1989 and 1992, when they were forced out of the league by financial ruin. They all but went into extinction but the youth team formed the nucleus of a new club and worked their way up the non-league pyramid from the Kent County League fourth division to their present position in Ryman 1 South.