Bivesh Gurung makes Emirates FA Cup history as Maidstone stun League Two Barrow

Saturday 02 Dec 2023
Maidstone United reach the Emirates FA Cup third round for the first time

Hometown hero Bivesh Gurung created Emirates FA Cup history by firing sixth-tier Maidstone United through to the third round for the first time with a shock 2-1 win against League Two Barrow.

Gurung smashed in the winner with 15 minutes to go, a first-time shot from the edge of the box that flew into the net and sent the Gallagher Stadium wild.

Barrow made an understandably sluggish start after the 330-mile journey south but took the lead through Ben Whitfield’s close-range finish in the 20th minute. However, Sam Corne hammered home an excellent equaliser 15 minutes later, as the National League South team went in level at half-time.

Gurung, who was part of Crystal Palace’s academy and has also played in Norway and Sweden, then settled it in the second half to ensure Maidstone can hope for a dream tie against one of the Premier League heavyweights in Sunday’s draw.

On a busy second round Saturday, there was more joy in Kent just 10 miles up the road, as League Two’s Gillingham beat rivals Charlton Athletic 2-0 with a fabulous performance.

Striker Macauley Bonne, who moved to Priestfield from the Addicks in August, notched his fourth goal of the season after combining with Jayden Clarke, before Timothee Dieng made it 2-0 just four minutes later.

The midfielder timed his run perfectly to slide George Lapslie’s cross past Ashley Maynard-Brewer, as the Addicks failed to reach round three for the second year in a row.

Seventh-tier Horsham saw their Emirates FA Cup run come to an end despite a dogged performance in their 3-0 defeat at Sutton United.

Horsham defended well in the first half but Sutton’s quality eventually told when Dion Pereira scored from close-range following some patient build-up play in the 64th minute.

Horsham threw players forward in chase of an equaliser but Sutton picked them off, with Pereira scoring on the counter-attack and Omari Patrick sealing it late on.

Fifth-tier Barnet ensured they will join Maidstone in the third round draw after snatching a late 1-1 draw at Newport County.

Shane McLoughlin put the Welsh team 1-0 ahead just before half-time but they failed to convert numerous chances to double their lead and were made to pay when Danny Collinge equalised in the 89th minute to force a replay.

Elsewhere, there was an upset at Adams Park as League Two’s Morecambe beat League One’s Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 thanks to goals from Eli King and Tom Bloxham, while Jon Dadi Bodvarsson scored a first-half hat-trick as four-time winners Bolton Wanderers reached the third round for the first time in five years with a 5-1 win against Harrogate Town.

Managerless Cambridge United shrugged off their league woes to breeze past Fleetwood Town 4-0 thanks to goals Danny Andrew, Elias Kachunga and Fejiri Okenabirhie - all by the 13th minute.

Grant McCann’s first visit back to Peterborough United since leaving as manager in January ended in defeat, as his Doncaster Rovers team lost 2-1.

Oxford United booked their place in the third round with 2-0 win against Grimsby, while there will also be replay for Stevenage and Port Vale after a 1-1 draw. Alfreton Town and Walsall's meeting was postponed on Saturday due to a frozen pitch.

By FA Staff