Emirates FA Cup 2QR // Saturday 18 September 2021 // Attendance: 620
Maidstone survived an FA Cup scare to beat Isthmian South East Chichester in the second qualifying round.
The Stones, lucky to be level after a poor first half, took the lead just after the break through Joan Luque.
Tyrone Madhani levelled within two minutes, then Alfie Pavey saw a penalty saved as United missed the chance to go back in front.
Substitute Christie Pattisson – just on for Pavey – put Hakan Hayrettin’s side 2-1 up midway through the half and Roarie Deacon gave the visitors breathing space.
Goalkeeper Billy Johnson was handed his debut in place of the injured Tom Hadler as one of four changes for Maidstone.
Raphe Brown, a left-back by trade, deputised at centre-half for the suspended Taylor Curran and there were also starts for Sam Corne and Pavey.
Chichester reached the second round two years ago and went into this match full of confidence after thumping Whitehawk 6-1 on Tuesday.
There was no obvious sign of the two-division gap between the sides and it was soon apparent Maidstone would be in for a difficult afternoon.
With a little more composure City may well have led at half-time, while the Stones largely struggled to get in behind the home defence.
Gicu Iordache wasted a couple of openings for City, blazing over after finding himself in space and, towards the end of the half, he hit the side-netting from Connor Cody’s neat pass when he should have done better.
Callum Overton went closest for the home side after running on to a ball down the line and beating Brown before firing inches wide of the far post.
Maidstone went close from distance when Luque cut inside and hit the bar from 20 yards but the only time they troubled keeper Kieran Magee in the first half came when Deacon’s strike from the edge of the box bounced awkwardly in front of him.
Maidstone put a poor first half behind them by opening the scoring in the 48th minute, after Sam Corne forced a corner.
Regan Booty took it, low to the near post, and Luque flicked home a classy opener.
Chichester, though, were level inside two minutes with Madhani firing home across Johnson from outside the area.
Maidstone had an immediate chance to go back in front when they were awarded a penalty.
Pavey went hard and low down the middle – just as he did against Billericay – but it was saved by Magee.
There was an almighty goalmouth scramble from the resulting corner which Chichester survived.
A mix-up at the back almost led to an own goal as George Elokobi’s back header went over Johnson, bounced and hit the Stones bar.
Maidstone went straight up the other end, with Luque denied by Magee, and they regained the lead on 68 minutes with Pattisson finishing neatly.
The visitors had a two-goal cushion on 76 minutes when Deacon latched on to Booty’s defence-splitting pass and finished coolly.
Magee saved well from Pattisson as Maidstone went close to a fourth.
Chichester City goalscorer: Tyrone Madhani 50
Maidstone United goalscorers: Joan Luque 48, Christie Pattisson 68, Roarie Deacon 76
Maidstone United: Billy Johnson, Gavin Hoyte, Raphe Brown, George Elokobi, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Jake Gallagher (Michael Phillips 84), Reagan Booty, Sam Corne, Roarie Deacon (Jermaine McGlashan 77), Joan Luque, Alfie Pavey (Christie Pattisson 60). Subs not used: Harley Earle, Max Sutton, Dominic Odusanya, Tushaun Walters.