Stevenage boss Dino Maamria hails ‘fantastic’ Ben Kennedy ahead of Mansfield Town

PUBLISHED: 17:26 17 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:26 17 December 2018

Ben Kennedy of Stevenage on the ball in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Milton Keynes at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

Ben Kennedy of Stevenage on the ball in the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Milton Keynes at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

Dino Maamria’s battling Stevenage grabbed a point in the 1-1 draw against Northampton Town at Sixfields on Saturday – prompting the Boro boss to hail his side.

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria. Picture: DANNY LOOStevenage boss Dino Maamria. Picture: DANNY LOO

Although the result means Stevenage drop to 11th in the league, having tasted victory once in their last five league matches, the play-offs remain in touching distance, with only two points separating seventh place Exeter from Boro.

Manager Maamria was pleased with his sides’ second half performance, most notably the last 15 minutes.

Speaking to CometSport after the match the charistmatic 46-year-old said: “In the second half we dominated and we got the goal at the right time.

“We looked on the front foot so I’m disappointed to not get three points, but we will take one.

“Northampton have been very good at home, six or seven unbeaten and they have got decent players.

“We played good football. We know if we’re going to kick it into their big centre-backs they are probably going to win them. We’re at our best when we pass the ball – and we passed it well considering the conditions.

“Ben Kennedy was fantastic playing in-between the lines. We were a threat going forward. I’m disappointed we didn’t get the winner at the end, because if the game carried on another five minutes we would’ve won it.”

Maamria also spoke about his change of tactics in a bid to win the game.

“Away from home we haven’t been great, it’s no secret. You have to change something.

“Going three in defence got us playing out from the back. It would give us an overload in the middle of the park and two up front as well.

“I thought it worked well.”

Despite the positives of an away point, the injury sustained by influential midfielder Michael Timlin gives Maamria an unnecessary headache.

The boss admitted the loss of 33-year-old Timlin was the biggest disappointment of the day, with the former Southend player expected to miss the busy Chrismas schedule.

Boro host fifth place Mansfield Town on Saturday. See CometSport for our in-depth preview this week.

To purchase tickets for the egarly-awaited match with the Stags visit the Stevenage FC website.

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