Dino praises performance as Stevenage take their play-off chase to final day

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria on the touchline in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria on the touchline in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Bury at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria described his side’s last-gasp 2-1 win over Mansfield as “probably the best of the season” as Boro kept their League Two play-off hopes alive going into the final game of the season.

Kurtis Guthrie opened the scoring with 71 minutes played at Field Mill, brilliantly controlling an Ilias Chair cross before volleying home.

Former Boro loanee Tyler Walker equalised with seven minutes left to play, chipping Paul Farman after latching on to a long goal kick.

But with 92 minutes on the clock, Chair curled home a superb winner from the edge of the area, securing three points for Stevenage that means they are still in with a mathematical chance of finishing in the last play-off place.

It was a display that delighted an enthused Maamria who hailed the performance as “unbelievable, probably the best of the season”.

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He said: “We had to go and press them, be brave on the ball, dominate everything that is there to be dominated and just go all-in as a team.

“We did and my God what a performance that was, from start to finish.

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“Even when we conceded the goal on the counter late on, I had that belief that we would get the second goal.

“That man again Ilias stepped up when it mattered the most and he delivered a huge goal.

“The score probably flattered them a little bit, anybody who came to the ground today, and it was a full house for them, they will have gone away thinking this Stevenage team is a proper team.”

The win means Boro go into the last game of the season against Cheltenham at the Lamex this Saturday with a chance of sneaking the final play-off place.

It is the slimmest of chances but stranger things have happened.

They are three points behind Newport County in seventh but will also need Exeter, Colchester and Carlisle to lose, while picking up three points themselves.

Maamria decided not to speak about Saturday’s huge game, instead choosing to praise his players.

“Hopefully we have a full house and everybody from Stevenage can come and show their support for those boys who put their bodies on the line through a tough season,” he said.

“We are a small club, a small group and to be fighting up there with some of the bigger clubs in this division, those players deserve huge credit.”

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