Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna said he couldn't fault his players' efforts after this afternoon's FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league club Maidstone United.

Goals in either half from Lamar Reynolds and Sam Corne saw the National League South side - who are almost 100 places lower in the football pyramid - secure a 2-1 win in front of a large Portman Road crowd and a live BBC One audience.

"First of all, full credit to Maidstone," said McKenna. "It's a fantastic day for them. They worked ever so hard for it. Of course they rode their luck, but they were very, very clinical and showed fantastic spirit to get the result.

"It's a bad day for us and there's a lot of disappointment. We're going to have to live with that and produce a response next week."

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town were dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league MaidstoneIpswich Town were dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Maidstone (Image: Ross Halls)

The Blues boss continued: "I can't really fault the attitude. We prepared well, we started terrifically, we had big chances, we hit the woodwork a couple of times, the keeper produced some fantastic saves and of course the longer the game goes on like that our belief drops a little bit and they defend with more resolution.

"At that phase they're waiting for a moment and they got it from a corner. We had an injury on the edge of the box that we should have communicated better on the pitch, they broke away and got the goal that brought the tie to life for them. 

"We've had 38 shots on goal, the opposition have had two. We need to be much more clinical than we were. They were incredibly clinical with their two and they defended with great resolution in their goal. Full credit to them for that."

With a shirt tug on Jeremy Sarmiento not spotted by referee Anthony Taylor in the build-up to Maidstone's second goal, McKenna said: "Yeah, I thought there was a pretty clear foul that led to the ball being given away. Having said that, their reaction was faster than ours to break and again it's a really good finish.

"Look, we really didn't want to be on the end of a result like this. We prepared well, we respected the opponent and we did some good things in the game. That's cup competitions. It happens every year all over the world, it's happened to better teams than us before in terms of being knocked out by a side in the lower reaches. 

"It's Maidstone's day. We've had lots of good days over the last couple of years here, we've not had too many bad ones, but today's their day. They deserve to enjoy their celebrations and we wish them all the best for the next round."

McKenna made 10 changes to the team that had started Monday night's 1-1 draw at Leicester City, though it was still a team packed with Championship experience.

"We've been consistent with that," explained the Blues boss.

"We did it for Wolves in the Carabao Cup this year, for example, and won the game. We always utilise the squad in the cup competitions. It's a necessity for us, to be honest, with the level we're competing at this year and how much of a stretch that is.

"I think the team that played today certainly had the quality to win the game, we certainly created enough chances to win the game and many aspects of the performance were good enough to win the game. Apart from the most important bit - which is putting the ball in the net and stopping them doing it - that's why we're out of the cup."

With George Edmundson booked for an alleged dive in the box during the second half, McKenna was asked if he felt his side should have had a penalty.

"I haven't seen it again, but it looked like it live to be honest," he replied. "It looked like his foot was kicked."

Town, second in the Championship table, have now won two of their last nine games across all competitions. They return to action at Preston next weekend.

"We've definitely got to find the right response," said McKenna. "I don't necessarily think it's just about blocking it out, because we believe in taking something out of every experience we go through.

"Of course it's a bad experience to go through, but we have to take the lessons from it and try and find ways to utilise it to make us stronger. That's what the next few days will be about at the training ground. We need to refind our focus for Preston next weekend and make sure we're competitive for the last 18 games in the league."

Asked what his emotions were after this result, McKenna replied: "I think anger usually comes if there was a lack of effort from the players and, if I'm honest, I didn't think there was that. I didn't think we showed any lack of respect for the opponent, I thought we tried, we created lots of opportunities. Their goalkeeper had a fantastic game, they made fantastic blocks. The first goal is something we need to learn from.

"It's more disappointment, for the supporters mostly, and for everyone at the football club, that we've not been able to go through to the next round. I know that's something the club's not managed to do for a long time and we've been knocked out at home in front of a full stadium to a lower league team. 

"Of course it's a horrible game to lose and it's a bad day for us, but honestly I don't have too many complaints about the effort."