The concession of a late penalty has consigned Maidstone United to elimination in the qualifying round of the FFA Cup.

United conceded from the spot with three minutes left on the clock to go down 2-1 to West Point on the artificial surface at Grange Reserve in Hoppers Crossing on Saturday.

United coach Nino Comegna will not be losing too much sleep over the result with the season proper the main focus for his team.

“You would like to advance, but you’ve got to look at it realistically,” he said.

“This time of the year, these are really just hit-outs for us and we’re looking forward to the beginning of the season.

“That’s our long term goal, to get everything ready, get our game plan working, get the boys fit and get an understanding to hit the season running.”

Maidstone United made a flying start to the match when central defender Darren Bonnici scored a header off a corner after 15 minutes.

In a game that see-sawed, United’s lead was never set in stone and West Point loomed as a threat going forward.

“It was a game that was constantly changing,” Comegna said. “One minute we’d dominate, the next minute they’d dominate.

“Even though it was a bit scrappy from both teams, it was a good solid hit-out and an enjoyable game.”

Maidstone United’s cup dream was over on the back of a couple of defensive lapses.

United conceded first through a counter attack and through giving up the penalty.

Despite the loss, Comegna was pleased with the way his team applied themselves, as well as their approach to the pre-season.

“The boys have been really enthusiastic and they’re working hard,” he said.
Craig Moyles and Chris Newman were the pick of the Maidstone United players.

Moyles, the team captain, and Newman, a new recruit, dictated the play in the middle of the park. Others to stand out for United were Bonnici, Nick Jovanovic and Nic Hartley.