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Maidstone United boss John Still wants FA Cup run to fuel National League South charge

Head of football John Still has called on Maidstone to build on their FA Cup exploits.

United's run ended in the second round at Blackpool on Sunday but they gave the League 1 club a fright by leading at half-time.

Iffy Allen in possession for Maidstone at Blackpool in the FA Cup Picture: Steve Terrell
Iffy Allen in possession for Maidstone at Blackpool in the FA Cup Picture: Steve Terrell

They brought about their own downfall after the break but Still wants his players to forget any negatives and instead use all the positive memories to fuel a league push.

The Stones are back in National South action at Oxford City this Saturday and host Chippenham in a rearranged game on Tuesday night.

Still said: "We've had a great run, and I'm really pleased with that.

"But it's not just me, the players are all a bit disappointed because we felt we contributed to our own downfall.

"We could have avoided the errors we made but I'm not pointing fingers because pressure comes in different ways.

"One or two might have have felt under pressure to hold on to the lead and do this or do that but as long as we look at that and use it as a learning curve, that's OK.

"What we've said to the players is we've gone out of the only competition we can't win, but we've given a good account of ourselves.

Maidstone fans in the Jimmy Armfield Stand at Blackpool Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone fans in the Jimmy Armfield Stand at Blackpool Picture: Steve Terrell

"Let's concentrate on the things we can win, the things we can do, and then look back favourably on the FA Cup at the end of the season and be able to say it was a contributory factor in finishing the season strongly."

Maidstone are 10th, five points off the play-offs, with Oxford in 12th, a point further back.

They must make a decision on the fitness of striker Ibby Akanbi who lasted just 25 minutes at Blackpool after aggravating a hamstring injury picked up against Dartford.

Still said: "Ibby's about the same as he was when he came off against Dartford, in that it wasn't pulling but it was restrictive and if he carried on, he felt he could have torn it completely.

"He'd had treatment and trained for a few days without any problems, so we weren't taking a gamble playing him at Blackpool.

"To us, he was fit and the medical side were more than happy for him to play."

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