Non-league Maidstone create FA Cup history to reach fourth round

Sixth-tier Maidstone made history against Stevenage  (PA)
Sixth-tier Maidstone made history against Stevenage (PA)

Sixth-tier Maidstone United reached the FA Cup fourth round for the first time in their history as they clinched a stirring win over League One Stevenage at the Gallagher Stadium.

Sam Corne’s penalty just before half-time proved enough for the National League South side as Steve Evans’ men saw both Jamie Reid and Kane Hemmings hit the woodwork early in the second half.

National League Eastleigh will join Maidstone in the fourth-round draw after a Chris Maguire penalty sealed a 1-1 draw with Newport County at Rodney Parade.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men when George Langston was sent off shortly before half-time, but Maguire’s late spot-kick cancelled out James Clarke’s opener to snatch a replay.

However, there was heartbreak for National League leaders Chesterfield, who led at Watford for much of the game before being denied by a stoppage-time strike from Tom Dele-Bashiru.

Joe Quigley’s 28th-minute header for the Spireites evoked memories of their famous run to the 1997 semi-finals, but Mileta Rajovic came off the bench to level and Dele-Bashiru denied the visitors a second chance when he struck in the fifth minute of added time.

Watford were fortunate to escape with a 2-1 win over National League Chesterfield (Getty Images)
Watford were fortunate to escape with a 2-1 win over National League Chesterfield (Getty Images)

Four Premier League sides survived potentially difficult away trips to also confirm their places in the fourth round.

Newcastle relieved the growing pressure on head coach Eddie Howe with a thoroughly professional 3-0 win at Sunderland in the north-east derby.

Sean Longstaff came close early for the Magpies before a Dan Ballard own goal got the visitors up and running, and a second-half brace from Alexander Isak wrapped up a convincing win.

Sheffield United also found it easy at League Two Gillingham as a brace each for William Osula and James McAtee sealed a straightforward 4-0 win at Priestfield.

Bournemouth were forced to battle back from two goals down to escape an upset against QPR at Loftus Road. Goals from Sinclair Armstrong and Lyndon Dykes gave Rangers a 2-0 half-time lead, but Marcus Tavernier reduced the deficit after the restart.

Kieffer Moore then flashed home a near-post header just before the hour mark and 10 minutes later Justin Kluivert sealed a 3-2 victory to ensure the Cherries could head home without the need for a replay.

Bournemouth fought from 2-0 down to edge QPR 3-2 (PA)
Bournemouth fought from 2-0 down to edge QPR 3-2 (PA)

Brighton fell behind early at Stoke after an own goal from Jan Paul van Hecke, but goals from Pervis Estupinian and the returning Lewis Dunk put them in command before the hour mark.

Lewis Baker gave Stoke hope when he levelled from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute, but a late brace from Joao Pedro sealed a 4-2 win for the Premier League side.

Championship promotion hopefuls Ipswich eased to a 3-1 win at League Two Wimbledon, who had Harry Pell sent off on the hour mark, while Ryan Fraser scored two in Southampton’s 4-0 win over Walsall.

Sammie Szmodics hit a hat-trick in Blackburn’s 5-2 win over Cambridge and Thomas Cannon’s goal just past the hour mark proved enough for Leicester to win an entertaining all-Championship clash at Millwall 3-2.

Coventry breezed to a 6-2 win at Oxford, while Ian Foster began his reign as Plymouth manager with a 3-1 win over League Two strugglers Sutton United.

Norwich were pegged back to a 1-1 draw by Bristol Rovers from a division below and a late Matty Jacob effort denied managerless Birmingham in a 1-1 draw with Hull at the MKM Stadium.