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Maidstone United manager George Elokobi says club will appeal debutant Timmy Abraham’s red card in FA Trophy exit at Barnet | Stones boss praises hosts after 4-0 win

George Elokobi says Maidstone will appeal striker Timmy Abraham’s red card at Barnet.

The on-loan Boreham Wood forward was dismissed for what referee Aji Ajibola deemed dangerous play during the second half of United’s 4-0 FA Trophy defeat.

Maidstone United manager George Elokobi. Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone United manager George Elokobi. Picture: Steve Terrell

Abraham caught Bees defender and former Stones man Reece Hall-Johnson in the face as he went to attack a cross.

Hall-Johnson had bravely gone in with his head low to clear.

Stones boss Elokobi said nobody in the ground thought Abraham deserved to be sent off.

“Timmy’s a striker and when the ball comes in like that, he has to try and engage with it,” said Elokobi, whose side were 3-0 down at the time.

“That’s what I thought I saw. The player’s head was low but again he didn’t do that deliberately.

“It’s all about the interpretation of the referee. We thought yellow card at worst and he’s brandished a red card.

“Everyone’s confused around the stadium, including their bench, my bench, and the players on the pitch.

“Nobody thought it was a red card.

“I have to speak with the referee and see his point on it and as a club we will be appealing.”

Abraham, who’s joined the Stones on a two-month loan deal, looked bright up front before his 53rd-minute dismissal.

He faces a three-match ban if the appeal is unsuccessful.

“I’ve got a devastated player in the changing room and rightly so,” said Elokobi.

“He’s a young man that’s come in to get games and it’s important we go through that appeal phase but, whatever the outcome of it, we take it as a football club.

“You’ve seen glimpses today of what he offers.

“He brings that quality up front in terms of the intensity we like to play off, in possession and out of possession.

“How we press, he adds a lot of value to our team, but also the game intelligence.”

Report: Barnet 4-0 Maidstone

Elokobi had no complaints with the result of yesterday’s third-round tie at the Hive.

They faced a full-strength Barnet side sitting third in the National League and were well beaten.

George Fowler’s own goal set the Bees on their way, Nicke Kabamba struck twice in four minutes before half-time and Dale Gorman completed the scoring direct from a corner.

“Full credit to Dean (Brennan, manager) and his staff and his players,” said Elokobi.

“We wish them all the very best in the next round of the FA Trophy.

“They deserved to win the game and by the number they did.

“In the first half we didn’t get close to them enough and we got punished for it.

“We had one or two individuals that didn’t quite get to grips with what we tried to do without the ball.

“But that’s part of our jobs to make sure we work with our group to ensure that when we come up against quality like this, we stay in games and wait for moments.

“And, on the transition, we need to look after the football a little bit better.

“In the first half, we didn’t control the possession; when we won it back, we didn’t control it.

“We always stressed about dominating possession and dominating territory and we didn’t do either of them today, so full credit to Barnet.”

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