The Spitfires bowed out of the Isuzu FA Trophy as fellow National League side Maidstone United progressed with a 4-0 victory.

Maidstone got us underway at the Silverlake and immediately looked to fire with an early succession of attacks, but the visitors failed to create anything clear-cut.

An effort did fall for the visitors on the fifth minute, Regan Booty’s effort rocketing against the post and back into play where it was eventually dealt with.

Maidstone took the lead just over a minute later however, Sha’mar Lawson’s excellent effort fired out of Joe McDonnell’s reach and into the Eastleigh net.

It was end-to-end stuff as Alfie Lloyd was played through for Eastleigh moments later, the QPR loanee had Jake Hesketh as an option but decided to take the shot, but it was easy for Maidstone stopper Dan Barden to foil.

Alfie Lloyd comes agonisingly close. Image by Graham Scambler Photography

The visitors made it two in ten minutes as a well-worked corner was played into Booty; McDonell got down quickly but couldn’t prevent the midfielder from firing home the visitors’ second of the day.

The Spitfires came close as Danny Whitehall’s free kick from well outside the box skimmed the crossbar and found the roof of the net following a Maidstone deflection, with Barden rushing across goal to cover

Lee Bradbury’s men went down to ten men in the 31st minute as Aaron Martin was shown a second yellow card, following two fouls in similar areas of the pitch.

Eastleigh’s best bit of attacking play so far came as Charlie Carter made an excellent run down the right and looked to square across to Lloyd, but the Maidstone backline excellently snubbed his effort.

Moments later, Oscar Rutherford sliced an effort towards goal only to be adjudged to have fouled a defender in the buildup, but it was George Elokobi’s men who went in with the two-goal lead at halftime.

The Spitfires trailed at half-time. Image by Graham Scambler Photography

As the second half commenced, so did a midfield battle as both sides struggled to forge their way into each other’s boxes.

That was until a corner was played out to an unmarked Rorie Deacon whose right-footed shot missiled through Eastleigh bodies and into the bottom corner six minutes into the second half.

Moments later the Spitfires crafted a chance, a ball was put goalward and the subsequent goalmouth scramble was eventually cleared by the visitors without troubling the keeper.

Eastleigh clustered attacks together, but Maidstone kept fouling and accumulating yellow cards on the edge of the box. A subsequent free kick was, again, agonisingly close from Whitehall, whistling just high.

Whitehall found himself through on goal again for the Spitfires, who were going all out to reduce the deficit; but the linesman already had his flag raised.

Eastleigh tried to reduce the margin. Image by Graham Scambler Photography

Lee Bradbury’s men got an effort away again, it was Carter this time who had his bullet of a shot saved from no distance at all… it was starting to feel like it just wasn’t going to be their day.

Maidstone made it four, with just over fifteen minutes to go; captain Binnom-Williams’ exquisite curling effort picked out the top corner, securing their qualification for the next round of the cup.

The Spitfires had a late penalty appeal, as Alfie Lloyd was dragged down, the referee saw nothing of it, however.

Maidstone progressed, following a bad day at the office for Lee Bradbury and his team.

Report by Matthew Benton-Smith

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Martin (C), Maghoma, Carter, Cisse (72), Whitehall, Hesketh (32), McKiernan (72), Harper, Rutherford, Lloyd

Subs: Flitney, Atangana (72), Langston (32), Payne (72), Tshaka, Stock, Harris

Red Card: Martin (31)

Maidstone: Barden, Fowler, Alabi, Corne (63), Barham (77), Booty, Binnom-Williams (C), Deacon, Bone, Jobe, Lawson

Subs: Mersin, Galvin (63), Brown, Wanjau-Smith (77), Pattison, Shonibare, Jeche