Coventry v Maidstone LIVE: FA Cup result and final score as non-league side thrashed in fifth round

Ellis Simms ended Maidstone’s FA Cup fairytale as his first-half hat-trick helped fire Coventry City into the quarter-finals. The striker’s treble and Fabio Tavares’ late double sent the Sky Blues into the last eight for the first time since 2009 after a 5-0 win.

It was a disappointing climax to the Stones’ historic Cup run, which had seen them win seven ties - including knocking out Barrow, Stevenage and Ipswich - to become the first team outside the top five divisions to reach the fifth round since Blyth Spartans in 1978.

George Elokobi’s National League South side became heroes following their fourth-round win at Portman Road but there was never any danger of a repeat at Coventry. The Sky Blues were determined to avoid suffering the same fate as their Championship rivals, with Mark Robins’ men rampant, and Maidstone outclassed and outgunned.

Follow live updates on tonight’s FA Cup action below and get the latest FA Cup odds and tips here.

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest score and updates

  • FULL TIME! Coventry 5-0 Maidstone United

  • Maidstone’s fairytale FA Cup run over as Coventry reach quarter-finals

  • 89’ GOAL! Tavares makes it four late on as Coventry cruise through (4-0)

  • 35’ GOAL! Simms completes hat-trick with rebound from Palmer strike (3-0)

  • 14’ GOAL! Palmer and Simms link-up again as Coventry double lead (2-0)

  • 9’ GOAL! Maidstone punished by Coventry as Simms buries finish (1-0)

Coventry City FC 5 - 0 Maidstone United FC

FULL TIME! Coventry 5-0 Maidstone United

21:57 , Jamie Braidwood

George Elokobi, speaking to ITV: “Immensely proud of the players. Congratulations to Coventry. Best luck to them in the next round.

“They gave their all today, that’s all I can ask. It was not enough but massive congratulations to all our boys and fans.

“The magic of the FA Cup is still alive. We knew we were never going to win it but this is what it is all about, playing against a great Championship side in a fantastic arena.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

FULL TIME! Coventry 5-0 Maidstone United

21:45 , Jamie Braidwood

There are nice scenes at full-time as the Maidstone players go over to the away end to thank the travelling fans. A night to remember, despite the scoreline, for everyone involved in the club.

Maidstone were outclassed tonight but they are still making the most of it.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

FULL TIME! Coventry 5-0 Maidstone United

21:39 , Jamie Braidwood

Coventry put an end to Maidstone’s incredible FA Cup run. There would be no repeat of their heroics against Ipswich as the sixth-tier side were well beaten by Championship opposition.

Ellis Simms scored a first-half hat-trick and Fabio Tavares scored twice late on as the hosts booked their place in the quarter-finals.

GOAL! Coventry 5-0 Maidstone United (TAVARES 90+2’)

21:37 , Jamie Braidwood

Ah, Tavares grabs his second in quick succession, and this is unfortunate for the sixth-tier side. The otherwise excellent Covolan spills and Tavares taps in.

The celebration is a bit overkill, but fine. Coventry are heading into the quarter-finals with a 5-0 win.

GOAL! Coventry 4-0 Maidstone United (TAVARES 88’)

21:33 , Jamie Braidwood

Coventry make it four! And it’s a smart finish from the lively Tavares. A clever run in behind from the forward, who then guides his shot past Covolan for just his second Coventry goal. Tavares has made the most of his opportunity tonight.

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

21:31 , Jamie Braidwood

84 mins: Coventry could well be the only Championship team to make the quarter-finals.

Blackburn, Leeds, Southampton and Leicester all face Premier League opposition - even if Leeds and Leicester are flying this season.

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

21:21 , Jamie Braidwood

76 min: Tavares and Eccles try their luck from range, with Covolan getting his hands behind the latter. The goalkeeper has had another good game, following his heroics at Ipswich.

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

21:20 , Jamie Braidwood

73 mins: Well, this one has rather petered out after Simms’s first-half hat-trick and Coventry are cruising through this second half.

Tomorrow we’ll have Newcastle’s trip to Blackburn, a must-win for Eddie Howe given how their league campaign has unravelled, while holders Manchester City are at Luton.

FA Cup fifth-round fixtures: Every game, start time and TV channel this week

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

21:14 , Jamie Braidwood

68 mins: Now a triple change for Maidstone, among those coming on is Gavin Hoyte.

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

21:12 , Jamie Braidwood

64 mins: Save by Covolan! Palmer would deserve a goal tonight but he is denied by the Maidstone goalkeeper, who springs to his left to keep out Palmer’s curling strike from the edge of the box.

Coventry are meanwhile preparing a triple change, with Simms replaced having scored his hat-trick.

Palmer and Torp are also replaced, with Matt Godden, Josh Eccles and Milan van Ewijk on in their place.

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

21:03 , Jamie Braidwood

58 mins: The biggest cheer of the night from the Maidstone end as Covolan beats two Coventry players - Palmer and Simms - after a passback!

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

21:02 , Jamie Braidwood

55 mins: Another corner kick for Maidstone, and this is almost dangerous. It’s hung up to Greenidge again and this time his header is put back across goal - but there’s no one there for Maidstone to finish!

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

20:58 , Jamie Braidwood

51 mins: Chance! Better again from Maidstone! Reynolds shows his electric pace to burst into the box, but he can only find the side-netting with his shot!

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

20:57 , Jamie Braidwood

50 mins: Maidstone win their first corner! It’s hung up to the back post and towards Greenidge, but the big centre-back is unable to head it back into a dangerous area as Coventry clear.

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

20:55 , Jamie Braidwood

48 mins: Almost an immediate impact from O’Hare, as he cuts inside the box and strikes at goal on his right foot.

But it’s straight at Covolan and the keeper saves.

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

20:51 , Jamie Braidwood

Back underway! One changes for the hosts as Callum O’Hare replaces Wright.

HALF TIME! Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

20:48 , Jamie Braidwood

Maidstone will need to stick together if they are going to keep Coventry at bay in the second half.

A couple of the goals were of their own making.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

HALF TIME! Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

20:36 , Jamie Braidwood

Maidstone had hoped this would be a night to remember - instead, it’s Ellis Simms who has stolen the show with a first-half hat-trick.

The Championship side are cruising towards the quarter-final and George Elokobi has the biggest team talk of his live to keep the sixth-tier side in this.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United

20:33 , Jamie Braidwood

44 mins: Simms has Coventry in a comfortable position before the break. Now it’s the Sky Blues who can start dreaming of a cup run.

GOAL! Coventry 3-0 Maidstone United (SIMMS 35’)

20:23 , Jamie Braidwood

A first-half hat-trick for Ellis Simms! Maidstone’s journey looks like it’s ending here.

Once again, Palmer plays a huge part in the goal. He catches a superb volley from all of 30 yards that zips along the surface. Covolan gets across but can only palm it so far - Simms is waiting and taps in for his third goal of the evening.

A first senior hat-trick for the 23-year-old.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Coventry 2-0 Maidstone United

20:22 , Jamie Braidwood

33 mins: Greenidge topples Tavares with a crunching tackle, but the Coventry winger is back up after hobbling away.

Coventry 2-0 Maidstone United

20:18 , Jamie Braidwood

29 mins: Tavares drags a long-range volley wide of the target. Coventry’s front-four have been on it tonight, looking very sharp. It’s been difficult for Maidstone to contain them.

Coventry 2-0 Maidstone United

20:14 , Jamie Braidwood

26 mins: The wind has been taken out of Maidstone’s sails but they know the next goal is crucial.

The visitors get their first shot on goal as the ball breaks to Sole as the back-post. He cuts inside but can’t whip his foot around the ball to get it back inside the far post.

Coventry 2-0 Maidstone United

20:09 , Jamie Braidwood

21 mins: Palmer has been a class above for Coventry so far, finding dangerous pockets of space. Covolan is worried for a moment as the ball deflects off a Maidstone defender and over his own bar.

Coventry 2-0 Maidstone United

20:05 , Jamie Braidwood

Two quality finishes from Simms.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

GOAL! Coventry 2-0 Maidstone United (SIMMS 14’)

20:02 , Jamie Braidwood

Disaster for Maidstone again! Coventry double their lead and it’s a long way back now!

It’s almost a repeat of the first goal, as Palmer is given too much space and time on the edge of the box. He threads another ball through to Simms and the strikes buries his first low and hard past Covolan, who had no chance.

Maidstone have been undone twice in the opening 15 minutes.

Coventry 1-0 Maidstone United

20:01 , Jamie Braidwood

13 mins: Good response from Maidstone! Reynolds gets to the byline and whips in a couple of dangerous crosses. Joel Latibeaudiere has to defend well at his back post.

GOAL! Coventry 1-0 Maidstone United (SIMMS 9’)

19:57 , Jamie Braidwood

An early blow for Maidstone as Coventry take the lead!

Maidstone give the ball away cheaply in midfield and Coventry are clinical. Kasey Palmer slips a clever ball through the defence and Ellis Simms, on loan from Everton, beats Covolan with a composed finish through the goalkeeper’s legs.

It’s what Coventry deserve, but Elokobi looks to encourage his side to keep their heads up.

Still a long way to go.

Coventry 0-0 Maidstone United

19:55 , Jamie Braidwood

8 mins: Tavares has plenty of pace down the right wing and wins a corner for the hosts.

Covolan claims well but Maidstone give it away as they look to break, and Coventry come straight back at them.

Coventry 0-0 Maidstone United

19:52 , Jamie Braidwood

4 mins: CHANCE! Maidstone survive and Covolan, the hero against Ipswich in the previous round, has to make a big stop early on here!

There’s a mix-up in the Maidstone defence and the ball breaks to Wright in the box.

He takes a swing and catches the volley, but Covolan gets across to make the save!

Coventry 0-0 Maidstone United

19:50 , Jamie Braidwood

2 mins: Coventry put Maidstone under some early pressure

Simms is the target of a cross into the middle but he’s not paying attention and the ball hits the back of his head.

Coventry 0-0 Maidstone United

19:48 , Jamie Braidwood

KICK-OFF! We’re underway in Coventry. Any chance of another miracle?

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

19:47 , Jamie Braidwood

Here we go!

Can Maidstone pull off another FA Cup upset and reach the quarter-finals?

It would be an unbelievable result for the Stones...


Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

19:41 , Jamie Braidwood

When is the FA Cup quarter-final draw?

There are three games on Tuesday evening, as reigning champions Manchester City travel to Luton Town, Championship leaders Leicester City visit Bournemouth and Blackburn Rovers host Newcastle United.

The final four ties take place on Wednesday night: Chelsea host old rivals Leeds United only three days after that devastating extra-time defeat by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final; Nottingham Forest host Erik ten Hag’s inconsistent Manchester United; Wolves meet Brighton; and League Cup champions Liverpool dust themselves down to face Southampton at Anfield.

The eight winners will be in the hat for the next round and one step closer to Wembley. Here’s everything you need to know.

When is the FA Cup quarter-final draw? Start time, TV channel and how to watch online

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

19:36 , Jamie Braidwood

George Elokobi ahead of facing Coventry:

“It’s a day with for no pressure for us.

“We are Maidstone United Football Club. There shouldn’t be any pressure on us.

“We will go and enjoy the occasion. It’s a historic day for our football club.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

19:36 , Jamie Braidwood

Plenty of tin foil out on display in the Maidstone end tonight! An FA Cup staple.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

19:33 , Jamie Braidwood

Back at the start of January, the FA Cup third round saw the introduction of Video Assistant Referee technology to the competition for the first time this season. But it was only deployed in some ties, and that will remain the case in this week’s fifth round matches.

Eight games will play out across the evenings of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday featuring reigning champions Manchester City down to sixth-tier Maidstone United.

But only games played at Premier League grounds will use VAR, due to licensing rules.

Here’s why:

Is VAR being used in the FA Cup fifth round? Well, yes and no

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

19:26 , Jamie Braidwood

Great scenes before kick-off as George Elokobi greets the Maidstone fans who have made the journey to Coventry.

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

19:22 , Jamie Braidwood

Maidstone United will be cheered on tonight by Lionesses star Alessia Russo, who are the Arsenal striker’s local club.

“I am so excited,” Russo said ahead of tonight’s match against Coventry.

“I have had many sessions, tournaments and games at the Gallagher Stadium, and I used to go down there quite a bit with my family to watch some live football.

“They have always been a team that has competed, so it has been nice to follow their FA Cup run – it has been really cool. They have been incredible and making everyone in Maidstone proud.

“I will be following along from Spain - I’m hoping I will be able to stream it and I will get some of the other girls involved too.

“I can’t wait to watch that game and will be backing them all the way.”

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

19:11 , Jamie Braidwood

Maidstone United’s run to the fifth-round has pocketed the club £700,000 before tax, but the club’s co-owner insists it is not a “game-changer”.

The club have won over £350,000 in prize money, receiving extra in gate receipts, TV revenue and sponsorship.

Speaking to the BBC, Oliver Ash said: “It's substantial but it's not necessarily a game-changer. We've obviously been doing the accounts and tried to work out what it does mean.

“It’s excellent but it isn’t life-changing.”

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:58 , Jamie Braidwood

Born in Cameroon, George Elokobi believes Maidstone’s FA Cup adventure has catapulted them onto the global stage and has captured the imagination from Kent and beyond.

“It’s a huge moment for myself. It’s a huge moment for my community back in Cameroon. It’s a huge moment for our football club. For Africa as well. It’s huge.

“The FA Cup is regarded as one of the best competitions in the world and for Maidstone to be in the fifth round, against a Championship side in Coventry, a club full of history, it’s an inspirational moment for myself and I’m ever so proud to be the leader of the club.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:53 , Jamie Braidwood


Coventry: Wilson, Latibeaudiere, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell, Kelly, Torp, Palmer, Tavares, Simms, Wright

Maidstone: Covolan, Greenidge, Fowler, Brown, Berkeley-Agyepong, Corne, Reynolds, Doku, Kyprianou, Bone, Sole

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:38 , Jamie Braidwood

Maidstone’s journey to the fifth round:

16 September, 2023: won 4-1 vs Steyning Town (9)

30 September, 2023: won 2-0 vs Winchester City (7)

14 October, 2023: won 2-0 vs Torquay United (6)

4 November, 2023: won 2-0 vs Chesham United (7)

2 December, 2023: won 2-1 vs Barrow (4)

6 January, 2024: won 1-0 vs Stevenage (3)

27 January, 2024: won 2-1 vs Ipswich (2)

Maidstone won at Ipswich, who were flying high in the Championship (PA Wire)
Maidstone won at Ipswich, who were flying high in the Championship (PA Wire)

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:24 , Jamie Braidwood

Maidstone have already played seven matches in the FA Cup to reach the fifth round, starting their journey in the second qualifying round.

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:23 , Jamie Braidwood

Maidstone have arrived!

George Elokobi and his players take the opportunity to pose for a team photo before tonight’s fifth-round tie.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:16 , Jamie Braidwood

Maidstone’s stunning FA Cup journey has been led by George Elokobi, the former Wolves defender who took charge of the club in 2023.

“It’s an incredible achievement, not just for ourselves but for the community, Maidstone United, and our fanbase,” he said.

“But we have also gained so much admiration globally, how we have gone about our FA Cup run, how we’ve approached it as a football club.

“Now we have kids coming up to us saying ‘we want to emulate what you have done’.

“It’s historic and a lot of the people around the city and elsewhere who aren’t even connected with Maidstone, they’ve told me their new team is Maidstone United. That shows you what the players have done.”

Maidstone United manager George Elokobi (PA Wire)
Maidstone United manager George Elokobi (PA Wire)

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:04 , Jamie Braidwood

Predicted line-ups

Coventry XI: Collins; Van Ewijk, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell; Kelly, Torp; Tavares, Palmer, Wright; Simms.

Maidstone XI: Lucas; Hoyte, Fowler, Greenidge, Kyprianou; Corne, Bone, Berkeley-Agyepong; Sole, Duku, Reynolds

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:03 , Jamie Braidwood

Team news

It is feared that Tatsuhiro Sakamoto will not play again this season for Coventry after suffering a serious injury against Preston. Ben Sheaf and Jamie Allen remain sidelined.

Paul Appiah is suspended for Maidstone after being sent off for a second yellow card in last week’s defeat to Aveley.

Coventry v Maidstone United LIVE: FA Cup latest updates

18:02 , Jamie Braidwood

When is Coventry vs Maidstone?

Coventry vs Maidstone is due to kick off at 7.45pm GMT on Monday 26 February at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

How can I watch it?

Viewers in the United Kingdom can watch the match live on ITV4, with coverage on the channel from 7pm GMT. A live stream will be available via the ITVX platform.

Good evening

18:00 , Jamie Braidwood

Hello and welcome to live updates from the fifth round of the FA Cup, as Coventry host Maidstone United tonight.

George Elokobi’s side are a game away from the quarter-finals after stunning Ipswich, and again face Championship opposition. Maidstone are eighth in the National League south, the sixth tier of English football, and are aiming to become just the second non-league side to reach the quarter-finals in the last 100 years, after Lincoln City in 2017.

Coventry, who were knocked out by non-league opposition in Wrexham last season, beat Sheffield Wednesday in a fourth-round replay and will fancy their chances of continuing their own promising cup run at home. The Sky Blues currently sit ninth in the second tier and will be out to spoil the party as Maidstone look to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

Follow live updates on tonight’s FA Cup action below and get the latest FA Cup odds and tips here.