Maidstone Look To Make Yet Another Miracle At Coventry

Miracle-makers Maidstone United may be bidding to become the first sixth-tier team to reach the quarter-finals tonight but George Elokobi says what they have been through will bind his players together for life regardless.

As the Vanarama National League South bravehearts head to Coventry, their manager knows they have already etched their names into club folklore

Their incredible journey began with victory at Steyning in September in the second qualifying round and little did they know then what was ahead. Wins over Winchester City, Torquay United and Chesham United quickly came as the Stones were rolling.

EFL scalps followed with Barrow and Stevenage cut down to size. Then their Portman Road heroics set up a meeting with the 1987 FA Cup winners.

The club that went to the wall in 1992 are now climbing them ahead of their visit to the Championship giants later tonight.

A grand total of £491,375 has already been earned through prize money and TV cash - but is there one more cheque still to land on the owners’ doormat?

Their manager says their incredible run will always be remembered and as around 5,000 head for the CBS Arena this evening, he asks if they’ve gone one more chapter to write in the incredible story.

“We might be able to lay a new pitch and put down new turf which is something for the whole area, although it’s for the owners to decide,” he said. “It gives me goosebumps already thinking about the enormity of the situation and now we can also provide a lasting legacy for the club and the whole community.

“We have also gained so much admiration globally, how we have gone about our FA Cup run, how we’ve approached it as a football club.

“Now we have kids coming up to us saying ‘we want to emulate what you have done’. It’s historic and a lot of the people around the city and elsewhere who aren’t even connected with Maidstone, they’ve told me their new team is Maidstone United. That shows you what the players have done.”

Mark Robins has called on Coventry City to disappoint the masses and dump the Stones out with the nation watching.

He wants his side to show no mercy to Maidstone - and make up for Friday’s night’s home hammering by Preston North End.

“The FA Cup is a brilliant competition, and Maidstone being at this stage of the competition goes to show that it is still the case,” he said. “You talk about the FA Cup and the romance of it and this tie typifies. We know the neutral will be rooting for Maidstone, but we will be doing our utmost to disappoint them.

They’ve done fantastically well, the weight of support outside of Coventry will be behind them and that’s one of the things that makes the competition great. We just prepare and plan as normal and hopefully that will be enough when we get on the pitch to put in a really good performance. But that’s something you have to do in every game.”

Where next?

Elokobi Beams With Pride As Maidstone FA Cup Run Ends Maidstone boss George Elokobi says he still feels immense pride despite their fairytale FA Cup run being halted at the hands of Coventry City.
York City Fire Ardley As Minstermen Make A Dug-Out Change York City have made the decision to part company with Neal Ardley as they continue to struggle in the National League.

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