Maidstone United players celebrate after winning on penalties

Notts County bowed out to Maidstone United in the fourth round of the FA Trophy after a 2-2 draw in 90 minutes was decided by penalties, where County were defeated 6-5 at Meadow Lane.

County looked to be heading out in regular time after going two down to their fellow National League side.

However, they bravely fought back to take the game to penalties after a late Sam Austin goal six minutes from time.

Although, it proved not to be enough as Maidstone advanced through to the fifth round when Matty Palmers decisive penalty was saved by Tom Hadler, causing jubilant scenes for the 215 Travelling Stones.

Maidstone had the chance to open the scoring when they were awarded a penalty five minutes before the break when Jack Barham was brought down by County Goalkeeper, Archie Mair.

Mair was then sent the wrong way from the spot by Regan Booty who made no mistake despatching the penalty.

It was a day to forget for young Mair, who was only making his debut after signing on loan earlier in the week, when he was caught out of possession 30 yards by Roarie Deacon who provided a spectacular finish to punish the young keeper and double Maidstone’s lead just before the hour.

However, Adam Chicksen quickly replied for County when he drilled a low strike into the bottom right corner in the 63rd minute.

County then pushed for an equaliser and were rewarded when Sam Austin followed up his initial header that was saved by Hadler in the Maidstone goal but the keeper could do nothing about the rebound that Austin slammed home down the middle.

The teams couldn’t be separated so the match went straight to penalties without extra time.

Maidstone United fans set off flares.

Both teams converted their first five penalties and the match went to sudden death.

Mair thought he saved Josh Fawole’s penalty however he was judged to have come off his line with a retake being ordered by the referee which Fawole converted.

It was then heartbreak for County when Palmers penalty was pushed away by Tom Hadler.

Although this would of been a competition County felt they could of progressed in, it now means they can have full focus on their National League campaign with promotion still very much the aim.