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Maidstone matchwinner Sam Corne looking for Premier League side in FA Cup draw

SoccerNews in FA Cup 6 Jan 2024

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Maidstone matchwinner Sam Corne is dreaming of drawing a Premier League club in the FA Cup fourth round after knocking Stevenage out.

Sixth-tier Stones are the lowest side left in the competition and all eyes now turn to Monday night’s draw after they stunned Boro, who sit 69 places above them on the football pyramid.

Corne’s goal was enough to see Maidstone reach the fourth round for the first time since their reformation in 1992.

Opposition boss Steve Evans went into the Maidstone dressing room to congratulate the history-makers on their achievement.

“Each and every player was excellent,” beamed Corne.

“We had to dig deep and I think we edged it. You don’t get many opportunities like this. It’s probably the biggest achievement ever for me.

“Hopefully we get a good draw now. It would be nice to get a big team away. We’ve made at home a bit of a fortress so maybe we’ll take a Premier League team here.

“Previously I wanted a big Premier League club away, maybe a Tottenham or even a City. But maybe getting (Erling) Haaland to the Gallagher isn’t such a bad shout either.”

Corne netted the winner from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.

“It was nerve-racking walking up to take the penalty,” he said.

“We spoke about it in the dressing room, about what side I may go and I changed it. Luckily enough it paid off!

“It was a relief for sure. Just as I was about to take it I decided to go the other side. It was a great moment.

“It gave us something to hold on to and we held on really well.

“We rode our luck and when they missed their opportunities I thought it could be our day.”

Evans was left to rue Stevenage’s missed chances after seeing top-scorer Jamie Reid and Kane Hemmings both hit the woodwork within seconds of one another.

He said: “I’ve just been in their dressing room. I’ve said they’ve been a credit to their football club and themselves and I hope they get their ample rewards in the draw, I really do.

“For us, I don’t think we gave enough respect on the pitch. The second half we can’t have that momentum, dominance and all those chances. I can’t believe we’ve missed four or five of them but we have and we’ve paid the price.

“It didn’t look like we would score in a month of Sundays.

“We have to live with this now. We’ve been on the opposite end of it. We’ll get back to the training ground and forget about it.

“I don’t know if it was a penalty, it certainly looked it. But you give them something to hold on to and you cannot miss the simplest of chances you can imagine.”

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