Home   Maidstone   Sport   Article

Maidstone United co-owner Oliver Ash on the prospect of going even further in the FA Cup

Jubilant co-owner Oliver Ash sees potential for Maidstone to make more FA Cup history.

The Stones are through to round three for the first time since 1988 after beating League 2 Barrow last weekend.

Maidstone players celebrate their FA Cup victory over Barrow. Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone players celebrate their FA Cup victory over Barrow. Picture: Steve Terrell

They’ve never been beyond that stage but co-owner Ash believes they have a manager in George Elokobi capable of changing that.

United will host League 1 opposition in the form of Stevenage or Port Vale, who face a replay on Tuesday.

The tie will be played over the weekend of January 6-7.

“Everybody’s smiling and we’ve got a really fun time, whoever we play in the third round,” said Ash.

“George being the consummate professional he is, he won’t be looking to stop here.

“He’ll be looking to win the next round and go as far as we can.

“Sutton got to the fifth round a few years ago, so why can’t we do that? Let’s look ahead.

“This group of players have given everything.

“They fought like dogs (against Barrow) and all credit to them.

“They deserve it and the whole club deserves it.

“Everybody who’s supported us for the last 12 years, they deserve this moment and they deserve the fun of us being in the third round.”

Maidstone have suffered four second-round defeats during Ash and Terry Casey’s ownership.

But after all the near misses they find themselves still in the competition with all the Premier League and Championship big boys.

It’s a fabulous achievement, with United coming from a goal down to beat in-form Barrow 2-1 thanks to Sam Corne and a Bivesh Gurung wonder strike.

“It’s the best day for me because it’s the first of the ‘best days’ I’ve actually attended,” said Ash.

“I missed Stevenage (FA Cup replay win in 2014), I missed the play-off final (versus Ebbsfleet in 2016), so this is a fantastic day, for the club, for the town, for everybody here.

“There are smiles all round. Nobody can quite believe it.

“We’re in the third round for the first time since Terry and I have been involved.

“I’m just delighted for George and the players. They worked so hard out there. It’s a wonderful feeling.

“When we gave away a silly goal and Levi (Amantchi) got injured, you think, ‘here we go again’ but as the end got nearer, strangely enough, I actually felt more confident.

“I remembered when we played Rochdale in the first round a few years ago and we were 1-0 up and they scored in the last seconds.

“I thought to myself, ‘that can’t happen to us twice, we’re going to get through this’ and we did. I’m absolutely delighted.”

Maidstone banked £67,000 for beating Barrow, taking their prize money this season to £126,375.

And there’s £105,000 up for grabs in the next round.

The Stones are well on the way to meeting the £200,000 cost of installing a new 3G pitch at the Gallagher.

“The money is a huge plus to us, it’s a bonus,” said Ash.

“Getting through to the third round is about the playing side.

“We’re in the next round and the whole town is buzzing.

“That’s what it means to everybody.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More