6th-tier Maidstone stun EPL hopefuls Ipswich in FA Cup, Luton dump Everton
EPL

6th-tier Maidstone stun EPL hopefuls Ipswich in FA Cup, Luton dump Everton

Jan 27, 2024

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Maidstone manager George Elokobi said the “magic of the FA Cup is very much alive” after the sixth-tier side stunned Championship high-flyers Ipswich 2-1 as Luton struck at the death to dump Everton out in the fourth round on Saturday.

Ipswich are 98 places and four divisions above Maidstone in the English football pyramid, but manager Kieran McKenna was left to rue making 10 changes.

The visitors’ two goals were worthy of winning any cup tie as Lamar Reynolds produced a cool chip over Christian Walton as Maidstone surged upfield from an Ipswich corner just before half-time.

Jeremy Sarmiento looked to have restored order when the Ecuador international drilled low into the bottom corner on 56 minutes.

However, there was another twist in a fairytale story as Reynolds this time played provider for Sam Corne to fire in the winner 24 minutes from time.

“Our boys have run themselves into the ground and that is what we said, ‘Leave nothing in the changing room,'” said former Wolves defender Elokobi.

“This binds us for life, what our boys are achieving right now. What our boys are achieving now has not been done in over 100 years. The magic of the FA Cup is very much alive.”

Pedro hat-trick for Brighton

Everton and Luton’s priority is survival in the Premier League and the Hatters’ 96th-minute winner at least ensured they both avoided a replay.

Vitaliy Mykolenko’s own goal gave Luton a half-time lead that was cancelled out when stand-in goalkeeper Tim Krul allowed Jack Harrison’s shot through his grasp early in the second period.

A bad-tempered affair appeared to be meandering towards a stalemate until Cauley Woodrow bundled home from a corner right at the death.

Joao Pedro scored a hat-trick, including two penalties, as Brighton beat Sheffield United 5-2 at Bramall Lane.

Facundo Buonanotte’s fine strike and Pedro’s first spot-kick put the visitors 2-0 up.

But last season’s semi-finalists were pegged back before half-time as Gustavo Hamer and William Osula struck for the Blades.

Another Pedro penalty restored Brighton’s advantage before he completed his hat-trick, and Danny Welbeck rounded off the scoring deep into stoppage time.

Championship leaders Leicester made light work of Birmingham as Jamie Vardy was on target in a 3-0 victory.

Leeds and Plymouth is one of at least four ties set for a replay after they drew 1-1 at Elland Road.

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