National League South Play-off Semi Final Sun 28 April Sussex Transport Community Stadium
  • Pearce (24', 89')
Maidstone Utd
  • Bentley (40')


Maidstone United Football Club was founded in 1897. Following the demise of the Football League side in 1992, the club was reborn as Maidstone Invicta and joined the Kent County League Division Four for the 1993/94 season. They won the title at the first attempt and also picked up the West Kent Challenge Shield and the Tunbridge Wells Charity Cup.

The Stones were crowned Kent League champions in 2006 for the second time and secured the league and cup double, with the title being won on the last day of the season with a resounding 4-1 win away to Sevenoaks Town. The Kent League Cup was also won again with a 4-1 hammering of VCD Athletic at Folkestone Invicta’s Cheriton Road ground. Promotion to Ryman League Division One South was confirmed at the end of the season.

Construction work started during the 2011/12 season. Although the Stones missed out on the play-offs at the end of that campaign, the £2.6 million Gallagher Stadium was completed and 2,226 watched the first match between Maidstone and Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday 14 July.

After finishing third in the league in 2015/16, the Stones faced Ebbsfleet United in the Promotion Final at Stonebridge Road. The match finished 2-2 after extra time and Maidstone won the resulting penalty shoot-out 4-3 to win promotion to the Vanarama National League.

The Stones’ three-year stay in the National League came to an end in April 2019 but a return to non-league’s top flight was secured in May 2022 when the Stones were crowned National League South champions in front of a capacity crowd – capping what had been a fantastic season post-Covid. That stay was to last just one season, and the Stones are now in the battle for promotion back to the National League at the first time of asking.



The Stones finished their league season on a high, with eight wins, one draw and one defeat in their final ten matches. It has already been an historic one for the Kent side after they reached the 5th Round of the Emirates FA Cup where they eventually lost out to Coventry City. George Elekobi’s side are now looking to complete a remarkable season by earning promotion back to non-league’s top flight at the first time of asking.

Maidstone came from behind to defeat Aveley in the Play-Off Eliminator in midweek. After going into the break trailing 1-0, the Stones equalised on the hour mark through Matt Rush, before Mo Faal scored an injury-time winner.

Last Six
24/04 – Aveley (H) – Won 2-1 (Play-Off Eliminator)
20/04 – Hampton & Richmond (H) – Won 5-1
13/04 – Truro City (A) – Lost 3-1
09/04 – Weymouth (H) – Won 2-0
06/04 – Farnborough (A) – Won 0-1
03/04 – Taunton Town (A) – Won 0-1


The Gaffer

George Elokobi has been in charge of Maidstone United since January 2023 when he was appointed as Caretaker Manager. After a spell in the caretaker role, he was entrusted to lead the team on a permanent basis.

George Elokobi coaching at Maidstone United.

Elokobi is a former professional footballer who played as a defender for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest and Colchester United to name a few. He made over 300 career appearances in the professional game.

Elokobi finished his career at Maidstone after joining the club in 2019 and captaining the side for three seasons before retirement. He then worked at the club’s football academy for three years, coaching and inspiring the next generation, all while gaining his Football Association coaching qualifications before taking over as First-Team Manager.

This season, Elekobi lead the Stones on their best ever FA Cup run, where they reached the 5th Round before losing to Championship side, Coventry City.


The Captain

Sam Corne has worn the armband in recent months for Maidstone with Club confirming recently that Club Captain Gavin Hoyte will be leaving at the end of the season.

Corne celebrates a goal for Maidstone United.

Corne’s senior career started with Welling United in 2013 and after four seasons at Park View Road, he signed for Braintree Town and worked under former Stones boss Hakan Hayrettin.

During his time at Welling, he got an England C call-up and attracted interest from league clubs.

Prior to signing at the Gallagher, he played for Greenwich Borough and Ashford United – scoring 21 goals in 40 games for the Nuts & Bolts – while focusing on his football coaching qualifications.

‘Corney’ made his Maidstone United debut on the opening day of the 2019/20 season and has clocked up 99 appearances since. He was a key figure in the club’s 2021/22 championship-winning season. He became a hero during the Stones’ remarkable FA Cup campaign where he scored the winner at Portman Road against Ipswich Town.


Key Player

Matt Rush joined Maidstone United from Aveley earlier this season and is the joint-fifth top scorer in the division with 17 goals.

Matt Rush signed for Maidstone from Aveley back in November.

Rush came through the youth ranks at Southend United, spending eight years with The Shrimpers. He made his first-team debut at the Stadium of Light four years ago this month.

While at Roots Hall, he had loan spells at Great Wakering Rovers, Harlow Town, Tonbridge Angels and Chelmsford City.

Last season, he gained National League South experience at Braintree Town, making more than 40 appearances as the Essex side made it to the end of season play-offs.


Familiar Faces

The Play-Off Semi-Final will see two former Rebels return to the Sussex Transport Community Stadium.

Michael Klass in action for Worthing against Dover.

Michael Klass joined the Stones from Worthing back in March.

After joining the Rebels from Aldershot last summer, Klass made 32 appearances for the Reds in all competitions this season.

The 25-year-old had an extended run in the team between January and February, his longest run of consecutive appearances this season, before his suspension that kept him out of contention for the encounters with Chelmsford and Taunton.

Since then, Klass featured at Chippenham but was left out of Racine’s squad against Bath City on Sunday and the midfielder now moves onto pastures new with Maidstone United.

Lucas Covolan celebrating a victory with Worthing supporters.

Covolan made 66 appearances for the Rebels between 2017-2019 and was a fan-favourite at Woodside Road during that time.

He moved on to then-National League side Torquay United in 2019 before moving to Port Vale in League Two a couple of years later. Covolan joined Maidstone at the start of the season and has helped the Stones to have the joint-second-best defensive record in the league this term.