Steve Evans gave Maidstone United full credit for their FA Cup shock win over Stevenage but said he was looking to the heavens at times after Boro missed a succession of gilt-edged opportunities in the second half. 

Sam Corne got the only goal of the 1-0 win at the Gallagher Stadium, converting a penalty two minutes into first-half stoppage time.

But after the break, there were shots of the bar and post, one cleared off the line and then two saves from Lucas Covolan as the National League South side defeated their League One visitors.

Evans said: "I've just been in their dressing room for them as they've been an absolute credit to the football club, a credit to themselves and I hope they get their ample rewards in the draw, I really do. 

"For us, we didn’t give enough respect on the pitch, certainly in the first half. Maidstone looked the better team than us. 

"I don't know if it's a penalty, it certainly looks a penalty but I need to look at it back. 

"Second half, we gave them something to hold on to and you cannot miss the simplest of chances you can imagine that we’ve made here. 

"You cannot imagine that we didn’t take one of six or seven. 

"We cannot have all that dominance, all that play, all that forward momentum and all those chances. 

"I can't believe we've missed four or five of them, but we have so we're paying the price. 

"I have a little grandson who's coming up on three and I think he’d have taken one or two of them. 

"Congratulations to George [Elokobi] and Maidstone. Good luck to them."

The Boro boss now says they have to put this far from their minds and turn back to their focus of a successful promotion season.

"We have to live with this now and we’ve been on the opposite end of it," he said, referring to last year's dream day at Aston Villa.

"We’ll go away and get back on the training ground and we’ll forget about the FA Cup. That’s not a cliché, we can’t think about something we’re not in. 

"There's always been a focus on league action and I'm not one of those nuggets that talks about it not mattering if you go out of the FA Cup. 

"We’ve gone out to an upset. 

"I think it’s harsh. If you look at the totality of the game, and you look at the chances made and missed, it's very harsh. 

"They probably had one chance and we’ve had one of the line, shots off the bar and the post. 

"But when you have a day like that and you see Kane Hemmings miss the chance at the far stick. I thought we'd never score for a month.  

"It was not to be but it’ll hurt and it’ll hurt for more than just 24 hours." 

He also believed the officials had nothing to do with the final outcome, and said he would like the quality of Championship referee Steve Martin more often.

Evans said: "I don't think we got any 50-50 from Stephen but I've just been in to thank him. The one complaint I had was the four minutes at the end. 

"But I just said to him, I'm nit picking. He's an experienced official, Craig Hicks is an experienced fourth official and if we’d had that level of official every week for the last 10 weeks, we’d have a lot more points."