Stevenage boss Dino Maamria delighted with Boro’s ‘desire’ after draw with Exeter

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria speaks to Layth Yousif. Picture: DANNY LOO

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria speaks to Layth Yousif. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria praised his sides desire after an entertaining 1-1 draw with Exeter City at the Lamex Stadium on Easter Monday.

Kurtis Guthrie gave Boro the lead with a deflected header on 28 minutes, before Ryan Bowman equalised five minutes from half-time to share the spoils between the play-off chasing sides.

Maamria was delighted with his sides desire, despite two games in three days, with Stevenage still in with a chance of making the Sky Bet League Two play-offs.

“The players were absolutely fantastic. They got a standing ovation from the fans because of the effort today,” he said.

“Exeter aren’t a bad side, but I think the difference was they made three changes and we had a few players who’ve played too many games lately. It was always going to be a grind today.

“It was a good game, the result was fair for both teams.

“We knew the margins were going to be very small, both teams needed to win.

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“The biggest disappointment was their goal. We worked on defending the short corner, we knew what they were going to do, but we switched off.

“There were a lot of good performances today. Yes, the football hasn’t been hasn’t been as good as Carlisle a few weeks ago, or at Port Vale on Friday, but it was always going to be difficult.

“It was a hot day, but you see the players desire and determination to keep going forward.

Maamria was disappointed not to see his side awarded a penalty late on when Guthrie was hauled down in the box, describing it as the “biggest decision” of the game.

“The biggest decision was the penalty. In the 92nd minute, the defender is all over Guthrie,” said Maamria.

“In any country in the world that is a penalty. The centre-back was in the back of him, jumping on his back, and the referee gave it the other way.

“I don’t think he had enough about him. It was a big call for him.”

Maamria was also full of praise for the Boro crowd, with a crowd of over 3,000 at the Lamex on Monday afternoon.

“The fans pushed us today,” he said.

“There was good numbers, they have been positive and fantastic for us.

“Stevenage fans want to see the team playing with desire and determination and we showed that today.”