Maidstone United shocked the sports world by beating Ipswich Town in an FA Cup fourth round matchup on Saturday.

The Stones currently feature in the sixth tier of the English soccer pyramid, five divisions behind Championship side Ipswich. In fact, Maidstone are currently 98 total places below Ipswich in English soccer.

Despite being massive underdogs for the fixture, FA Cup magic struck again in the epic match in Suffolk.

Before the game, Maidstone’s manager George Elokobi delivered a speech to his players and a group of fans outside of the stadium. The former Wolves defender proclaimed that his group are “history makers” and the team would “enjoy the game” on the day. Elokobi would certainly be right on both accounts.

Visitors take advantage of two significant counter attacks

Ipswich essentially dominated their lower level opponents throughout duration of the game. Nevertheless, Maidstone took a shock lead just a few minutes before the halftime break. The visitors struck on the counter attack in the 43 minute with a clever cross-field pass from Liam Sole to Lamar Reynolds.

The forward raced free on goal and brilliantly chipped the ball over the Ipswich goalkeeper to give Maidstone the lead. Reynolds’ finish was surely not indicative of a player that has been struggling in front of goal in league play. In fact, the striker had previously not scored at all during the current campaign.

Ipswich, however, would fight back to level the scoreline in the 56th minute. The Blues grabbed the goal through patience and persistence going forward. Jack Taylor picked out Jeremey Sarmiento near the Maidstone penalty area and the Brighton loanee converted his shot through a defender for the goal at the near post.

Despite the massive amount of chances for Ipswich, Maidstone struck again to retake the lead just 10 minutes later. Reynolds this time provides a pass towards Sam Corne and the midfielder struck a beautiful left-footed shot into the back of the net. Much like his teammate, Corne is also not a prolific scorer for the Stones. Saturday’s massive goal, a strike that will go down in FA Cup history, was just his fourth goal of the season.

Maidstone win one of the biggest upsets in tournament history

Maidstone somehow held on to record the historic victory despite weathering a constant barrage of Ipswich shots. The hosts recorded 34 total attempts on the day, but managed to just convert one of these shots. Maidstone, on the other hand, scored from both of their shots in the match.

The win means that Maidstone is now the lowest-ranked club in the fifth round of the FA Cup since Blyth Spartans in 1978. Oddly enough, Ipswich Town actually lifted the FA Cup trophy that year.

Following the epic triumph, Elokobi spoke on how the win impacts the club and their fans. “This is what it means to our community. It is all about us being together on days like this,” the Maidstone manager told BBC One. “It was up to the players to go out and enjoy competing against a fantastic Championship side.”

“We had to be lucky in the first half but then we had to be resilient. And we knew they played so high, so can we catch them on the break if we played the right passes and had the runners behind.”

“I doff my cap to our community. This is for Maidstone and again it’s the magic of the FA Cup. We had to believe.”

Maidstone will now be placed in the next round of the competition. The draw for the FA Cup fifth round is all set for Sunday, January 29th.

Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images.