Stevenage boss Dino Maamria fumes at officials after Exeter defeat

Exeter City hosted Stevenage at St James Park. CREDIT @laythy29

Exeter City hosted Stevenage at St James Park. CREDIT @laythy29 - Credit: Archant

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria has been left frustrated by ‘poor’ refeering and his side’s disappointing first half performance after their 1-0 defeat by Exeter City on Tuesday.

Stevenage FC First Team Manager Dino Maamria. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage FC First Team Manager Dino Maamria. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Boro fell to Matt Taylor’s Grecians after a Dean Moxey goal deep into time added on after the opening 45 minutes.

The delay was due to a lengthy stoppage after a home fan suffered cardiac arrest in the main stand behind the dugouts.

Caring boss Maamria sent his best wishes to the supporter who was taken to hospital with the applause of the crowd ringing around St James Park.

However it was his side’s disjointed effort along with questionable refereeing decisions from referee Antony Coggins which angered the manager.

Layth Yousif interviews Stevenage boss Dino Maamria after the 1-0 defeat at Exeter City.

Layth Yousif interviews Stevenage boss Dino Maamria after the 1-0 defeat at Exeter City. - Credit: Archant

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Maamria asked: “The official put six minutes up but it went to seven minutes when they scored. Why? I don’t get that.

“I thought the referee lost control of the game. We all talk about ‘respect’. But some referees disrespect by ignoring you. They treat you like they’re the boss. It’s not a case of ‘we’re both professionals, we’ll discuss an issue like professionals’.

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“They speak over you. It’s disappointing because all I wanted to do was ask him why he booked Luther when he was just trying to keep the ball in play.

“I just wanted to ask him a question to get his view on the incident.”

Oxfordshire-based official Coggins also infuriated Maamria by sending-off the promising Luther James-Wildin late in the second half for two yellow cards.

While having no complaints about the second caution after the talented 20-year-old tangled with substitute Cheiedoze Ogbene, the Tunisian fumed about the initial booking.

A clearly incensed Maamria said: “Luther got booked for a first yellow card trying to keep the ball in play.

“I’m not complaining about the second yellow but the first was a shambles. For the second yellow he got himself tangled up on the wrong side of the man but the first booking was really poor.

“To put six minutes up and play seven was really poor. If he says I’m a human being and I made a mistake I’d shake his hand and say fair enough, we all make mistakes.”

Honest Maamria conceded his side’s first half performance was not good enough.

Boro went into the game in fourth place on the back of an excellent victory at Carlisle after having clocked up more than 1,000 miles by the time they returned to North Herts around 3am on Wednesday morning.

Yet they could not maintain the level of performance required to replicate the result in Cumbria against an Exeter side that started the evening in third spot.

With Colchester fast approaching on Saturday Maamria analysed his side’s efforts in Devon. “Our first half performance was why we lost the game,” he said, “but we weren’t good enough in the first half. We were very poor first half. Maybe the travel caught up with us.

“The second half we were terrific and we dominated.”

Maamria also took time to praise the 56 fans that made the trip to Exeter adding: “I also want to thank the fans for their support.

“It’s been a long week for them too. Many of them at Exeter also went to Carlisle so I want to thank them.

“They spend a lot of money following us everywhere.

“All I can say is sorry for the first half performance and hopefully we can repay them with a good result on Saturday.”

The Essex side led by John McGreal visit the Lamex in third place, a point ahead of Boro in seventh.

In an indication of how tight League Two is this term a win could see Stevenage move back to fourth – while a defeat may see them fall as low as 15th.

It promises to be a close affair as Colchester have won two of their last five league games while Boro have won three of five.

Previewing the match he said: “Colchester will be a tough game. Hopefully we’ll have a good crowd and everyone will get behind us. We’ll bounce back. If we play like we did in the second half on Saturday we will put in a good performance.”

Follow Layth on Twitter @laythy29

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