Published: 17:15, 15 January 2022
| Updated: 18:34, 15 January 2022
Maidstone lost on penalties to Boreham Wood in the FA Trophy fourth round.
Michael Phillips cancelled out Tyrone Marsh's first-half opener as United deservedly took the tie the distance.
Phillips and Joe Ellul went on to miss from the spot as Wood edged the shoot-out 5-4.
Maidstone, on paper, had it all to do against a Wood side unbeaten in three months and boasting the best defensive record in the country.
The Wood, 2-0 winners over AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup last weekend, showed their quality on the ball in the final third at times but the National South Stones always looked well in the game.
The Boreham Wood goal was by no means a closed shop and given they’d only conceded four goals in 14 games, the Stones deserved credit for causing them problems.
United fell behind to an 18th-minute penalty from ex-Dover man Marsh, sending Tom Hadler the wrong way from the spot after Regan Booty tripped former Gills midfielder Josh Rees in the box.
Boreham Wood also had a goal ruled out for offside and saw Danilo Orsi miss a big chance to turn home the second at the back post from Adrian Clifton’s off-target shot.
Maidstone could point to a couple of big chances, Ellul’s thumping header from a Booty corner saved by Taye Ashby-Hammond, while Roarie Deacon rolled an effort past the far post after a Maidstone counter saw Joan Luque and Sam Corne combine to play him in.
Jack Barham was a willing worker against Wood’s big central defenders, winning his fair share of headers and keeping them busy, while Maidstone also threatened with Luque’s stinging 25-yard drive which was parried and gathered at the second attempt by Ashby-Hammond.
Luque’s 20-yard free-kick forced an excellent save from Ashby-Hammond, with Barham’s follow-up hitting the side-netting, early in the second half.
Orsi put a great chance wide when free in the box at the other end, his blushes spared when referee Aji Ajibola decided Hadler had got a touch and awarded a corner.
Maidstone introduced Christie Pattisson for Deacon and the change paid off instantly with the substitute’s low cross falling to Phillips, who sidefooted into the bottom corner for the visitors’ 72nd-minute equaliser.
The Stones had a good spell following the goal, taking the game to their opponents and looking more likely to win it.
That said, Jacob Mendy Mendy missed a glorious chance for the hosts, somehow lifting the ball over the stand from no more than a few yards out after meeting a cross.
With five minutes remaining, Booty led a Maidstone counter, with Corne finding Luque who cut inside and saw his low strike held.
A lovely move involving Pattisson, Barham, Corne and Luque saw Booty’s 25-yard strike brush the top of the net and, seconds later, Corne blazed a loose ball over.
But Maidstone nearly lost it in added time when Wood countered through Marsh after Ajibola missed a clear foul on Pattisson, got clear and crossed, only for Rees and top scorer Scott Boden to fluff easy finishes.
Booty, Dominic Odusanya, Barham and Luque scored for Maidstone in the shoot-out, with Phillips' kick saved and Ellul hitting the bar.
Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Fowler, Ellul, Brown, Booty, Phillips, Corne (Odusanya (90+2mins), Deacon (Pattisson 71mins), Luque, Barham. Subs not used: Gallagher, Mersin, Binnon-Williams, Walters.
Referee: Aji Ajibola.
Attendance: 502 (160 away).