- Maidstone United pulled off another FA Cup upset after beating Ipswich Town
- Their moment of magic showcased the wonder of the famous old competition
- Why Jurgen Klopp quit and who Liverpool should go for now – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off
What a privilege it was to be at Portman Road to witness Maidstone’s moment of FA Cup magic, a day which left you enriched by the purity of this competition of Davids and Goliaths.
As co-commentator, I was tasked with picking the player of the match. Just one? Out of all these Maidstone history-makers? Impossible. Can’t do it. Won’t do it. So I cheated. I named two, and you’re lucky I stopped there.
Lucas Covolan was one – the 32-year-old who performed like a National League South goalkeeper in name only as he repelled whatever Ipswich threw at him in their desperation to avoid this defeat.
Lamar Reynolds was the other – the 28-year-old who ran through majestically as if he had been waiting his whole life for this moment, scoring that sublime opener and then assisting Sam Corne for the winner.
That is the beauty of the FA Cup – it provides players like Covolan and Reynolds with the platform to bring their talents to the fore, to make a mockery of the fact that 98 places separate you and your opponents.
Maidstone United pulled off another FA Cup upset after beating Championship side Ipswich
George Elokobi insisted belief was the biggest factor on a day that left everyone enriched
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Manager George Elokobi brought on Reiss Greenidge to move to a back five in the second half but even then, Maidstone still showed their intent in getting forward and that bravery was rewarded by Corne’s finish.
Elokobi insisted belief was the biggest factor. When Maidstone arrived at Portman Road, he and his players didn’t simply walk inside with headphones on and wash bags in hand.
Elokobi took them outside the gates so he could speak to the fans, delivering a rousing address. National League South? Status means nothing on a day such as this.
A day when a side from the sixth tier of football can become this worldwide sport’s biggest story. A day when a striker like Manny Duku can go from playing for Manchester 62 in Gibraltar one week, sign for Maidstone the next, make his first start at Ipswich, and write his name into history.
A day when we temporarily suspend our love affair with the Premier League and the FA Cup reminds us why we love football.