George Elokobi ‘super proud’ of Maidstone as FA Cup run ends against Coventry

George Elokobi ‘super proud’ of Maidstone as FA Cup run ends against Coventry

Boss George Elokobi hailed his Maidstone history makers as their FA Cup heroics ended with a 5-0 defeat at Coventry.

Ellis Simms’ first-half hat-trick and Fabio Tavares’ late brace fired the Sky Blues into the quarter-finals.

The Stones were the first team outside the top five divisions to reach the fifth round since Blyth Spartans in 1978, having started their run in September and beaten EFL sides Barrow, Stevenage and Ipswich.

It was their eighth game in the competition this season and Elokobi saluted his National League South battlers.

“I’m super proud of our players, super proud of our community and how we have gone about this historic FA Cup run,” said the former Wolves defender.

“There has been so much attention, they have inspired so many people. This is a moment we will never forget in the history of the club.

“We are all winners, some are a little bit disappointed but my job is to pick them up and remind them how far we have come.

“Everyone who watches football, this is the moment we live for. There are so many positives to take. We want to make sure we can concentrate on the league.

“The magic of the FA Cup is still alive. When we began this FA Cup journey we knew we weren’t going to win it. It was about showcasing our talent and skills. We have done that.”

Coventry rain riot early and were 2-0 ahead after just 15 minutes through Simms.

He opened the scoring after nine minutes, latching onto Kasey Palmer’s throughball to beat Lucas Covolan before linking with Palmer six minutes later to drill in a second.

His first senior hat-trick was complete after 35 minutes when Covolan parried Palmer’s 35-yard volley for the striker to gobble up the rebound from four yards.

There was no coming back for Elokobi’s side but they held firm for the majority of the second half until Tavares’ late double.

Coventry, who last won the cup in 1987, reached the quarter-finals for the first time in 15 years and will learn their opponents on Wednesday.

Boss Mark Robins said: “I’m delighted, if you do it right against any opponent who are below you, you should prevail. It was important we started well.

“We didn’t turn up on Friday (a 3-0 defeat to Preston) so we needed to start like we did. Ellis’ movement was brilliant, in 35 minutes the game was over as a contest.

“Ellis deserved and needed it, you have to take those chances. It should give him plenty of confidence, he has six (goals) in eight (games) and is starting to come to life and believe in himself.

“He has some brilliant attributes and he is doing it with plenty of scrutiny.”

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