Maidstone stun Ipswich at Portman Road

Saturday 27 Jan 2024
Sam Corne celebrates his winning goal in Maidstone United's 2-1 win over Ipswich Town in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round

Maidstone United’s fairy-tale Emirates FA Cup run continued as the National League South outfit stunned Championship high-flyers Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Lamar Reynolds scored one and set up Sam Corne’s winner as the sixth-tier side prevailed 2-1 to become the lowest-ranked side to reach the fifth round proper since Blyth Spartans in 1977/78.

Jeremy Sarmiento equalised for the Tractor Boys early in the second half but they found themselves on the receiving end of a huge shock against a side 99 places below them in the football pyramid.

George Elokobi’s side had to withstand heavy early pressure in East Anglia, Ipswich hitting the post twice inside the opening eight minutes and forcing Lucas Covolan into a string of saves.

They made the hosts pay for their profligacy by scoring with their first attempt on goal in the 43rd minute, Reynolds finishing off a swift counter-attack with a composed dink over Christian Walton.

Sarmiento drilled in an equaliser 11 minutes into the second half but the Stones restored their advantage when Corne, who also scored in the wins over EFL sides Barrow and Stevenage earlier in the competition, finished smartly from Reynolds’ pass.

Ipswich piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser but Maidstone stood firm through eight minutes of injury time to seal a historic triumph.

Newcastle United overcame Fulham 2-0 to seal a spot in the last 16 for just the second time in 18 seasons.

Sean Longstaff struck a half-volley into the bottom corner to break the deadlock six minutes before the break before Jacob Murphy saw a goal ruled out for offside.

Willian was similarly denied by the assistant referee's flag early in the second period and the visitors doubled their advantage when ex-Fulham man Dan Burn fired home a rebound from close range after Sven Botman's header was parried into his path, sparking jubilant scenes in an away end containing Alan Shearer.

Brighton & Hove Albion and Luton Town booked fifth round places with contrasting victories in the day's other all-Premier League ties.

A Joao Pedro hat-trick inspired the Seagulls to a 5-2 win at Sheffield United, who had fought back from 2-0 down to go in level at the break courtesy of Gustavo Hamer and William Osula.

Pedro netted a penalty in each half and sealed his hat-trick midway through the second period before Danny Welbeck’s late strike added gloss to the scoreline.

Cauley Woodrow’s injury time goal sealed Luton’s progress as they won 2-1 at Everton.

Vitaliy Mykolenko’s own goal gave the Hatters a half-time lead but Jack Harrison hauled the hosts level 10 minutes into the second period.

Luton were the stronger side in the closing stages and avoided a replay when Woodrow smashed home from close range to mark another memorable trip to Goodison Park for Rob Edwards’ side, who earned their first win as a Premier League club on the blue half of Merseyside in September.

Jamie Vardy ended his goal drought to set 2021 winners Leicester City on their way to a 3-0 win over Birmingham City at the King Power Stadium.

Blues were on top in a first half which saw Jay Stansfield hit the post but Vardy’s first goal since November put the Foxes in front in the 47th minute.

Strikes from Yunus Akgun and Dennis Praet ensured Leicester, who made 10 changes, will be in the hat for the last 16.

The day’s other all-Championship tie ended in a 1-1 draw between Leeds United and Plymouth Argyle at Elland Road.

Jaidon Anthony’s superb solo effort put Leeds in front at the break but Adam Randell’s 73rd-minute leveller ensured the two teams will meet again at Home Park.

By FA Staff