Football legend Gary Lineker has praised Bivesh Gurung’s FA Cup goal-of-the-round winner for Maidstone.
Gurung beat Neill Byrne (Stockport), Femi Azeez (Reading) and Ephron Mason-Clark (Peterborough) in a public vote after his 74th-minute rocket sank Barrow last weekend.
The Stones midfielder’s strike impressed England great Lineker, who made it his ‘moment-of-the-week’ on the podcast he presents alongside Alan Shearer and Micah Richards.
Speaking on the Rest is Football, former Barcelona and Tottenham striker Lineker said: “Bivesh Gurung scored a brilliant winner for National League South side Maidstone United as they beat League 2 high-fliers Barrow 2-1.
“Maidstone folded actually in 1992 after long-standing financial issues and it will be their first time in the FA Cup third round since then.
“(I’m) looking forward to seeing them against Stevenage or Port Vale in the third round where they’ll have a slight chance of getting through to the fourth round.”
Gurung, who’d been encouraged to shoot more by his mum, shouldn’t even have been on the pitch when he scored - making the goal even more special.
His substitution had been announced nine minutes earlier but he received a reprieve as he made his way off the pitch after team-mate Sol Wanjau-Smith went down injured.
Wanjau-Smith made way for Lamar Reynolds instead and Gurung made the headlines as Maidstone reached the third round for the first time since facing Sheffield United in 1988.
The Stones’ third-round tie, against Stevenage or Port Vale, has been overlooked for live TV coverage.
As the lowest-ranked side definitely through, there were hopes United would be one of the six games selected.
They’ve missed out, however, with three all-Premier League ties chosen - Crystal Palace v Everton, Tottenham v Burnley and Arsenal v Liverpool - along with Sunderland v Newcastle, Middlesbrough v Aston Villa and Wigan v Manchester United.
Stevenage and Port Vale drew 1-1 last weekend and meet in a replay at Vale Park on Tuesday night.