HEYBRIDGE Swifts’ FA Trophy run came to an end after falling to a 2-1 defeat at Maidstone United.

Joan Luque netted for Jody Brown’s side – who went into the second round of the competition as the lowest ranked side – but first half goals from Jamar Loza and Darius Osei allowed the National League hosts to book their place in the last 16.

The first effort of the afternoon saw Delano Sam-Yorke try his luck from long range, but Swifts goalkeeper Danny Sambridge was able to make a comfortable save.

The Stones were enjoying the vast majority of possession early on, but the Isthmian North visitors were not giving the hosts many shooting opportunities.

Sambridge stopped Jai Reason’s 20-yard free kick, while Lewis Godbold passed up a good opportunity midway through the first half.

The ball deflected to the central midfielder on the penalty spot, but Godbold’s snapshot went over the crossbar.

That miss proved costly as Maidstone took the lead just before the half hour mark.

Loza appeared to control the ball with his arm before tucking the ball home. The Swifts players were unhappy that referee Alan Dale had not spotted the handball but, after consultation with his assistant, the man in the middle awarded the goal.

However, Swifts nearly levelled almost immediately as Luque sent a 30-yard free kick inches wide with home goalkeeper Lee Worgan rooted to the spot.

Sam-Yorke sent a free header high and wide when well placed, while captain Stuart Lewis’ half-volley went a yard wide of the target as the National League side looked to up the tempo.

And Osei scored his first goal for the club to double Maidstone’s advantage with a free header two minutes before the break.

Swifts skipper Lewis Dark went close after being found by Luque’s cutback but the visitors could not half the deficit before the interval.

Ryan Henshaw aggressively rejected Sam-Yorke’s run towards goal by putting in a crunching tackle early in the second half, while the frontman then forced Sambridge to tip over the crossbar a goalbound header.

Stones defender Josh Hare came close to gifting Swifts a goal as his under-hit backpass nearly allowed Luque to get to the ball ahead of Worgan. But the shot-stopper was quick off his line and cleared his lines in the nick of time.

Osei curled wide after good work by Maidstone left back Joe Anderson.

Substitute Harrison Chatting was denied as his volley was well tipped over the crossbar by Worgan with 15 minutes to play.

But Swifts were to get themselves back into the game as Luque found the back of the net with a brilliant volley from 25 yards out.

However, the visitors were unable to find an equaliser and will now turn their attentions towards a Isthmian North promotion push.

Heybridge Swifts: Sambridge, Ramon, Stevenson, Dark, Henshaw, Cawley, Godbold (Smith 87’), Griffiths (Chatting 65’), Gardner, Krasniqi, Luque