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George Elokobi says Maidstone deserve their place in the FA Cup third round draw

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ George Elokobi
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ George Elokobi

Emotional Maidstone boss George Elokobi saluted a ‘blockbuster’ winning goal from Bivesh Gurung as his side stunned League Two high-fliers Barrow in the FA Cup.

The National League South side reached the third round for the first time since their reformation in 1992 and Elokobi believes they fully deserve to be there.

The former Wolves midfielder said after the 2-1 success: “I’m really excited for the football club.

“Barrow showed us respect which was wonderful, but I think we deserved to get through.

“I got emotional after the game but those emotions were for everyone here, the players, the fans and all the staff and the community of Maidstone.

“The whole place is buzzing after that, the whole community is, so let’s see where this result takes us now.

“It’s an incredible achievement, but this is the magic of the FA Cup.

“Now the whole town can go out and enjoy it, and see what happens in the draw tomorrow.

“We had a mountain to climb, but we reached the summit thanks to Bivesh’s goal.

“It was an absolute blockbuster – it was just an excellent hit. As soon as it left his boot I knew the ball was going to fly in. Bivesh is a terrific talent and I’m so delighted for him.”

The non-league outfit probably enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes at the Gallagher Stadium.

However, it was Barrow who opened the scoring when Ben Whitfield pounced on a defensive mix-up before tapping home.

The Kent club bagged a deserved leveller thanks to Sam Corne’s drilled strike and there was precious little goalmouth action in the second period until Gurung smashed home from 20 yards with 16 minutes left.

It was a blow for Barrow boss Pete Wild, whose side must now focus solely on their continuing promotion push from League Two.

Wild said: “It’s definitely been a frustrating day at the office.

“Did we do enough to win the game, or maybe did we do enough to have lost the game? I’m not sure, but that’s the FA Cup for you.

“It was a nothing game for the large part, a drab encounter really, and I thought we were comfortable for large periods.

“Their lad goes and pulls a goal out of nowhere, though, and now I’m thinking to myself ‘how did we lose that?’.

“We’ve spent the whole of the second half in their half but I’m frustrated that we didn’t create nearly enough chances.

“We look a bit flat, though that’s not an excuse, and we looked tired, and that’s not an excuse, but when you don’t take or create enough chances like we have today, then you’re bound to leave yourselves susceptible to a result like this.”