MAIDENHEAD United are out of this season’s FA Cup after a 3-1 first round replay defeat to Port Vale on Thursday evening, writes Rob Stevens.

The Magpies’ cup fairytale came to an end at a sold out York Road as League One club Port Vale made no mistake the second time around.

In truth, it was a fairly comfortable win for the professional side, who will now play Exeter City in the second round, though they had to do it the hard way.

IN PICTURES: More than 60 images from last night's game in our gallery

There were a few fingernails being nibbled amongst the Vale support as captain Alan Massey sent Maidenhead into dreamland with an early goal in the tie screened live by BT Sport.

A fierce strike from Dave Tarpey was beaten out by Vale keeper Jak Alnwick, but Vale failed to clear the ball and Massey steered home the rebound from inside the box on 15 minutes.

The visitors levelled the scores in the 35th minute when a cross from Sam Foley was met by the head of Michael O’Connor, who made no mistake from six-yards.

Port Vale were desperate for an early goal in the second-half and it came on 49 minutes when Ajay Leitch-Smith scrambled the ball home from close range, prodding past Magpies keeper Carl Pentney.

Vale extended their lead in the 57th minute as Foley put the ball back across goal and Leitch-Smith found the net with a stooping header.

In fairness to Maidenhead, they continued to put in a battling display though Port Vale were in their comfort zone from that point on and until the final whistle.

Port Vale players gave Maidenhead a guard of honour off the York Road pitch after the final whistle. A class touch from the League One side, who recognised Magpies had pushed them all the way over two matches.

Maidenhead will now get back to normality with a National South fixture away at Concord Rangers next Tuesday evening (7.45pm).

SEE the Slough Midweek Observer and Royal Borough Observer next week for the thoughts of Maidenhead boss Alan Devonshire, chairman Peter Griffin and much more.