Stevenage history: this week in 2005

Dino Maamria in 2005. Photo: Archant

Dino Maamria in 2005. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

A win over Hereford takes Boro to Stoke’s Britannia Stadium

After sneaking into the top five at the expense of Morecambe on the final day of the 2004/5 season, Graham Westley’s Stevenage were paired with second-placed Hereford United as the club sampled its first taste of the Nationwide Conference play-offs this week in 2005.

The first leg took place on Monday, May 2 and Boro, by virtue of the fact that they finished below the Bulls, had home advantage first.

Played out in glorious sunshine at Broadhall Way, hopes were high that Stevenage could go all the way to Stoke’s Britannia Stadium.

In a twist of fate, the first leg was played a month to the day after Hereford had emerged as 1-0 winners in the league fixture.

And it looked like a situation that would repeat itself after a wonderful Danny Carey-Bertram strike gave the visitors the lead during the second half.

Boro managed nearly three times as many attempts as the Bulls, however, so it was no less than they deserved when Dino Maamria headed in the equaliser from a sumptuous Jon Brady cross and left things evenly poised as they travelled west for the second leg on Friday, May 6.

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The Bulls had lost just four home league games all season, so it promised to be a tough task.

Some serious pressure was absorbed during the first half, with Alan Julian making a couple of neat saves to boot, but Boro’s defence held firm and kept the clean sheet intact.

With tension rising at Edgar Street, a speculative Anthony Elding shot from a corner struck the bar and fell kindly for Maamria, who made himself the hero yet again by nodding in the winner and the goal that took Boro to within 90 minutes of the Football League.

* Pete Hayman runs BoroGuide, the Stevenage FC internet resource. For more information visit www.boroguide.co.uk or follow him on twitter @boroguided

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