Stevenage boss Dino Maamria after achieving sixth clean sheet this season after goalless draw against Port Vale: 'We never looked in danger'
PUBLISHED: 23:04 23 October 2018
Stevenage were left frustrated for the second time in four days at the Lamex by a resilient Port Vale side who were happy to leave with a point after the goalless draw on Tuesday evening.
Boro were drawn against away to Plymouth Argyle in the first round of the FA Cup after Dennis Wise and Dion Dublin made the draw at Hitchin Town’s nearby Top Field on Monday evening – after already having faced long trips to Forest Green Rovers, Yeovil Town and Exeter City in the opening two months of the season.
With Dino Maamria’s men facing another long trip to the west country at Cheltenham on Saturday the 46-year-old Tunisian was taking the positives from, what must be said, was an insipid affair against the Valiants.
However, Boro looked comfortable at the back as they halted a run of three defeats in a row following losses at home to Charlton in the Checkatrade, away to Newport County and Crewe at Broadhall Way on Saturday by keeping a clean sheet against Neil Aspin’s side.
Looking ahead to the weekend the charismatic Maamria hailed his side including a resolute backline marshalled by Scott Cuthbert and Luke Wilkinson along with Luther James-Wildin and Steve Seddon, saying: “Overall we’ll take the point and move on to Cheltenham.
“That’s our sixth clean sheet of the season. I thought Scott Cuthbert was fantastic. We never looked in danger. We dealt with everything at the back.
“It was a good night for us.
“We ran out of legs a little bit which was understandable. We played for a long time on Saturday with ten men and you could see that in the second half against Vale. “We lost two games – in the 97th minute against Newport and on Saturday [after Ben Nugent was sent-off early on] – but you have to stick to your process and focus on improving.”
Stevenage made the early running, Jamal Campbell-Ryce being the early creative spark putting through James-Wildin, but the full back failed to hit the target with a shot which sailed past Vale’s keeper Scott Brown right hand post.
Boro continued the early pressure with another chance, as a poor back pass was intercepted by Alex Revell before he took it past the onrushing former Wycombe keeper Scot Brown, but the angle proved too much for him and he smashed it against the post.
Maamria added: “I think we did everything but score. The chances we had were unbelievable. Revell had an open goal. Luther [James-Wildin] could have scored. Kurtis [Guthrie] could have scored.
“We needed to do more in terms of the attacking third. Having said that they were very compact. A 5-4-1. They made it difficult for us.
“Overall we should have won the game.
“The positive is we have Liam Smyth who made his debut. We’re building for the future here.”
A lack of quality in the final third hindered Boro as they played out only their second 0-0 draw of this season, after a similar stalemate against FGR back in August.
One player who could have made a difference, Ben Kennedy, was not in the squad against Vale.
Maamria refused to be drawn on whether the Northern Ireland international had been fined and made to train with the academy youngsters following his public show of dissatisfaction during Saturday’s match against Crewe.
Maamria added: “The foundation of this football club is built on trust, respect and hard work. No-one person is bigger than the club. I’m all for players who give their heart and soul to the club.
“I want to work with players who give me those things [but] we are still heading in the right direction.”