Ibby Akanbi’s brace secured the three points for Maidstone as the Hawks fell to only their third league defeat of the season at Westleigh Park after a 2-1 loss to the stones.
The Hawks started slowly in the first half before a spirited display after the interval almost got themselves a point after Benny Read got the hosts back in the game with ten minutes left.
With Wealdstone losing away to Oxford City, the Hawks have lost no further ground to the side from the Vale at the top of the table.
Paul Doswell named an unchanged side from that which beat Weymouth 1-0 last time out.
Maidstone created the first real foray on goal as they asserted themselves on the game quicker than their hosts.
11 minutes in and Allan played a ball across into Wishart at the back post, the latter with an open goal at mercy, two yards out but couldn’t connect to the ball.
Two minutes later Rutherford went for goal from the edge of the box on his right foot but his curled effort sailed over the bar.
Wes Fogden played a ball into the strikers path moments later but Lewington in the Stones goal gathers.
Josh Taylor threw the ball into the box towards Rutherford who’s header goes out for a corner.
With just under a quarter of an hour to go in the first half Maidstone took the lead when Akanbi turned inside the penalty area before shooting from six yards out past Worner into the bottom right corner.
Five minutes later the Hawks tried their luck again with a ball into the box, again finding Rutherford but his first touch was too heavy with the ball subsequently cleared.
Disaster struck just before half time when an untimely slip by Cook inside the penalty area saw Akinbi in on goal again from close range and he smashed the ball home from similar range as the first effort to put the visitors in the box seat.
The hosts tried to respond with the last play of the first half as Andy Drury put a free kick into the mixer where Walton flicked on but his attempt held by Lewington.
Half-Time: Havant and Waterlooville 0-2 Maidstone United
A double change was made at the break as Benny Read and Nicky Bailey came on at the start of the second period.
The first chance of the second period fell to the Hawks as Danny Kedwell had a free kick on the edge of the box in a central position.
But, despite standing out in the middle of the park, his strike would go over the bar.
Then a huge moment in the game at both ends of the field as Ayunga had an effort on goal blocked by Lewington before a counter attack saw the ball fizzed over the top into before Worner came out to make a vital save to stop it becoming three.
Five minutes later the Hawks had three chances in one attack, none of which nestled into the back of the net with the best attempt coming when Fogden from close range fired an effort cleared off the line.
With just under 25 minutes left to play Kedwell flicked on from Walton’s cross which was tipped away by Lewington.
Seconds later Jonah Ayunga from a free kick went for goal but it would be another chance cleared off the line as the Stones continued to weather a Hawks storm.
The Hawks did give themselves a lifeline with just over ten minutes to play as Benny Read got his first in the Havant white.
Jonah Ayunga received the ball before finding Read out on the right hand side before bringing himself inside the box and shooting from an acute angle and rifling the ball into the left corner to give the hosts hope.
With just over five minutes left to go Taylor slipped on the ball before regathering his balance and possession and beating two defenders but his effort on goal would go over.
Then minutes later a ball falls to Ayunga down the left, he went for goal, but his effort hits the side netting.
The Hawks would have two chances in the five minutes added on, the first came when Tarbuck played the ball into Ayunga but it would be another chance that would fall wide.
The last chance was the big chance, the ball nestled its way into the penalty area before finding Taylor, who had the goal to aim at, but it was another opportunity which came off the line.
Full-Time: Havant and Waterlooville 1-2 Maidstone United
Starting XI: Worner, Straker, Walton, Magri, Fogden, Drury, Kedwell (c), Ayunga, Cook, Taylor, Rutherford
Subs on: Read, Bailey, Tarbuck
Subs not used: Beckwith, Paul