Maamria fumes over penalty call as Boro earn first point
PUBLISHED: 14:44 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 21 August 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
Stevenage boss Dino Maamria was left incensed as his side were denied a penalty by an 'inexplicable' refereeing decision in their 0-0 draw with Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road on Saturday afternoon.
Kurtis Guthrie was fouled inside the area by Dan Happe midway through the first-half, with referee Lee Swabey pointing to the spot.
But, after a long delay he changed his mind and the decision was overturned, much to the disappointment of Boro boss Maamria.
"My wife asked me before I came out to please don't talk about the referee after the game but I have seen something today that is inexplicable really," he said.
"The linesman and referee gave a penalty but then they had a chat and changed their mind. I have never seen a referee do that.
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"The linesman put his flag up and said penalty, the referee blew his whistle and said a penalty and a minute later he changed his mind.
"I don't know. It is not like he looked at video. Both of them made that decision with their gut instinct. Then something changed."
Despite the decision, Stevenage picked up their first point of the new League Two season, despite having Luis Fernandez, 17, and Kelland Watts, 18, making their EFL debuts at the back after Terence Vancooten and Scott Cuthbert went off injured.
"It was a proper Stevenage performance," said Maamria.
"You saw backs to the walls in terms of my two centre backs came off first half and we ended up playing with a 17 and 19-year-old in the heart of defence.
"To keep a clean sheet, it was an unbelievable performance from those two.
"It was an outstanding performance and you saw the reaction of the fans who turned up in their numbers today - they saw a performance that the club can be proud of."