Boreham Wood won a game in the FA Trophy for the first time in four years, but still needed two bites of the cherry to overcome a determined Maidstone United.
The Wood will host Alfreton Town in round two after a ding-dong battle in Kent, which saw them triumph 3-2 on the night, following a dull 0-0 stalemate in the first tie on Saturday.
That draw at Meadow Park saw little in the way of chances from either side, despite Maidstone’s lowly position of 18th in the National League table, as an injury to Morgan Ferrier ruled the influential striker out at the 11th hour.
He was not fit enough to return for the replay on Tuesday night, but Matt Paine did return to the side, replacing Jamie Lucas.
The opening 20 minutes would belong to the visitors without them ever making any significant headway, but Jamar Loza enjoyed the first chance of the game for the hosts when bursting into the box, before Paine deflected his shot away.
Their second effort saw them lead soon after – Joe Devera took a quick throw-in with his defensive team-mates out of position, and a misplaced pass allowed Loza in before he found Ben Greenhalgh, who struck a fine shot from 25 yards beyond Grant Smith.
Having had so little of the ball, Maidstone soon found themselves in the ascendency with Wood’s players shaken, and Angelo Balanta’s mistake allowed them another chance to attack, which was eventually cleared by the increasingly influential Paine.
David Stephens’ poor clearance nearly gifted the hosts a second when Alex Flisher picked up the ball and played it into Loza, who crossed to Bobby Joe-Taylor.
Somehow, his header from only a couple of yards flew wide, and kept Wood in the game.
It was 10 minutes before the break when the visitors finally tested Lee Worgan in the Stones net, but even then Bruno Andrade’s effort was easily savable.
Maidstone enjoyed two more half-chances before the break, but would be made to rue their profligacy minutes after the restart.
Whatever Luke Garrard said to his charges at the break worked as Anthony Jeffrey levelled up after Andrade’s first shot had been saved, and soon after they were in front.
Kenny Davis’ header from Worgan’s goal kick found Andrade, and he outpaced the home defence before reaching the box and slotting home.
Andrade was again on form as the visitors nearly got a third, delivering a great free-kick to Paine, who saw his effort saved.
But the killer goal would soon follow, through the in-form Anthony Jeffrey, and saw him steal possession before racing goalwards and firing a third.
Loza pulled a goal back for the hosts in the final minute of added time, but it was the Wood who progressed on the night.
After the game, Garrard said: “It was thoroughly deserved. Even with them scoring in the first half, we dominated.
“In the second half, we came alive. We could have scored a few more and the last goal is disappointing because it looks closer than it was, but we dominated throughout for me.
“The goal was a silly mistake from Joe Devera, he’s played the ball down the line when we’re not in shape and they’ve finished it from 25 yards out.
“We were good until the final third, which is where we lacked some sharpness and quality until half-time and in the second half it all fell into place.
“Bruno Andrade and Anthony Jeffrey worked tirelessly throughout, and got their just rewards.
“I said to the boys at half-time that they should be thanking their lucky stars they weren’t going in 2-0 down, but I’ve looked at the last two performances against Maidstone and I felt we dominated the ball on Saturday.
“We started well in the second half and they didn’t look like they were going to score. Obviously the late goal is frustrating but I’m so happy with the boys.”