Notts County 2 Maidstone United 2 (Stones win 6-5 on pens)

Notts County 2 Maidstone United 2 (Stones win 6-5 on pens)

Tom Hadler came in from the cold to save the crucial penalty as Maidstone beat Notts County on penalties in the FA Trophy.

Hadler, who had not played since October, was recalled by caretaker George Elokobi for his first game in charge after Hakan Hayrettin’s departure this week.

Maidstone United caretaker George Elokobi. Image: Steve Terrell

And he proved the hero by saving from Matt Palmer on his left as United won the Meadow Lane shootout 6-5 after a 2-2 draw.

Regan Booty’s penalty and a 40-yard wonder from Roarie Deacon put the visitors two against the vastly changed National League leaders.

But Adem Chicksen got the Magpies back in the game and Sam Austin struck a late equalizer to put the tie at bay in the fourth round.

Maidstone, with Elokobi consistently camping on the edge of the technical area, got off to a brilliant start at Meadow Lane.

The visitors had good early possession and maintained their form and discipline when County had the ball.

Indeed, they seemed more than happy to let the hosts have it on the edge of their own box – they certainly couldn’t do any harm from there.

There were a couple of decent chances at both ends before Booty’s penalty broke the deadlock.

For the Stones, Jack Barham sliced ​​into his man and narrowly deflected the ball while the best opening fell to Sam Corne, who missed a golden opening from Ryan Galvin’s low cross.

Aaron Nemade found the sidenet in front of the Stones defense for County volley after long possession and Kairo Mitchell probably should have done better with a header from Austin’s left cross.

The opening goal came in the 40th minute after Aden Baldwin’s fierce touch in the box resulted in Barham being brought down by debutant Archie Mair, who was booked.

Booty competed against his old club and confidently fired into the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Booty made an excellent block from Kyle Cameron while Matt Palmer headed wide as Notts responded from behind.

It came as no surprise that the Magpies boss had possession early in the second half, but Maidstone doubled their lead in the 57th minute with Deacon’s spectacular second goal.

Barham deserves a lot of credit for forcing Mair into an error after coming out of his goal.

The loose ball landed on Deacon, who looked up a good 40 yards away and brilliantly lobbed the county defense.

Hadler still had no save to make but Notts were back in business in the 63rd minute when the ball fell to Chicksen who came back cleanly over the goal.

Maidstone effectively killed time while unraveling the home crowd in the process.

However, the Magpies equalized with six minutes remaining, with Austin finishing on the second try after Hadler blocked his close-range header off a cross.

Notts’ tails were up and with seven minutes extra at the end of the 90, Maidstone had plenty to defend to take the tie on penalties.

Booty, Dominic Odusanya, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Deacon, Christie Pattisson and Josh Fawole scored a penalty shoot-out replay for Maidstone.

County converted their first five, but Hadler refused to let Palmer send Maidstone through.

Notts County: Mair, Cameron, Rawlinson, Mitchell, Austin, Nemane (Cisse 59 mins), Francis, Baldwin, Bajrami, Palmer, Chicksen (Gill 65 mins). Unused Subs: Slocombe, O’Brien, Langstaff, Fearon.

Maidstone: Hadler, Fowler, Bone (Pattisson 78 mins), Ellul, Binnom-Williams, Booty, Corne, Lawson (Odusanya 82 mins), Deacon, Barham (Fawole 81 mins), Galvin. Unused Subs: Mersin, Alabi, Zoumas, Gurung.

Referee: Aaron Jackson.

Participation: 2,405 (215 away).

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