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Coventry City 5-0 Maidstone United: Stones boss George Elokobi ‘immensely proud’ as FA Cup run ends in last 16

George Elokobi spoke of his pride in Maidstone’s players at the end of their glorious FA Cup adventure.

The Stones’ history-making run was halted as a classy Coventry side ran out 5-0 winners at the CBS Arena on Monday night.

Maidstone United manager George Elokobi greets away fans at the CBS Arena. Picture: Helen Cooper
Maidstone United manager George Elokobi greets away fans at the CBS Arena. Picture: Helen Cooper

Ellis Simms’ first-half hat-trick and a late Fabio Tavares double saw the Sky Blues through to the quarter-finals.

Maidstone had already beaten one Championship club, in Ipswich, but Mark Robins’ ruthless side proved too strong.

“Huge congratulations to Mark Robins and to Coventry City - I thought they were worthy winners tonight,” said Stones boss Elokobi.

“They showed us what different levels are in terms of how they finished their attacks and this is why we aspire to be in football.

“When you come to a good Championship side, like they are, you have to make sure you stick to the game plan and I thought we didn’t quite follow the tactical structure of our game plan and we got punished for the first goal.

“But again I’m immensely proud of our players and how they’ve gone about this historic day.

“There’s been so much attention, they’ve inspired so many people around our Maidstone community but more so globally, and what’s not to savour?

“This is a moment we will never forget in the history of the club.”

Report: Coventry 5-0 Maidstone

Maidstone won seven matches to reach the last 16 for the first time in their history.

Hopes of causing another upset unravelled as Simms struck twice inside 14 minutes, completing his treble before half-time.

Tavares’ late goals were harsh on a spirited Stones side but Elokobi had no complaints after such a special run.

He said: “Some of the players are a little bit disappointed but my job as a manager is to pick them up and make sure we remind them of how we’ve come as a team in this competition.

“When we set out at Steyning Town away we said we wanted to progress as far as we could in the FA Cup and some of the moments we’ve managed to create as a group, as a football club, it’s super, super admirable.

Maidstone fans get behind their team at Coventry. Picture: Helen Cooper
Maidstone fans get behind their team at Coventry. Picture: Helen Cooper

“Everyone that’s watching football, these are the moments we all live for but we have to learn from how we conceded our goals.

“We’re playing against fantastic Championship players.

“You make mistakes and they will punish you and these are the different levels.

“Our players can learn from this and now we look forward to concentrating on our National League South form and making sure our players recover and then we can come back into training and ensure we drive the standards again into our league.”

Maidstone sold out their 4,800 allocation in a matter of hours and the tie also captured the imagination of Coventry supporters, with the overall gate approaching 27,000.

Elokobi, who was back on the school run this morning, said: “You come to a stadium like Coventry, I thought their fans were magnificent in how they supported both teams.

“I don’t think they were just supporting Coventry, I think they were supporting Maidstone deep down and you saw that at the end.

“It was a fantastic FA Cup fifth-roud tie.

“We fell short towards the end.

“Fatigue kicked in and we lost our composure a little bit and our concentration and we rightly so got punished for it with two more goals but we can live with that. I can live with that as a manager.”

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