Frannie Collin’s 87th minute winner for Maidstone on Thursday evening confirmed a devastating defeat for the football club as Boro crashed out of the FA Cup at the 1st Round.
After failing to get the job done at home, Stevenage headed to Kent full of confidence on the back of the excellent 5-1 victory over Cheltenham on Saturday, however it took only one minute for the home side to throw a spanner in the works.
Despite an improved second half where Darius Charles equalised and Boro dominated possession, not enough clear cut chances were created and moments after Stones’ keeper Worgan denied Whelpdale one-on-one, Maidstone went up the other end and created their own piece of history.
After the game manager, Graham Westley admitted the best team won.
“They were more than a match for us over the two games. We played them on grass, we played them on here. People talk about the surface; it’s not about the surface. Their appetite and attitude to winning, their know-how in terms of winning. They’ve got some good quality players there, lads who are well below the level they are capable of playing at and they deserved to beat us.
“It was a horrible start. It was everything that you don’t want to do. It was a straight ball, a simple ball defended very badly. You can’t argue with it.
“We probably dominated possession in the second half but they always looked dangerous on the counter attack. You have to say at no stage could you feel comfortable in the game. They kept coming forward, they always offered a threat and you couldn’t say it was a surprise when they got the winner.
“As a manager I’ve never been in the situation where I’ve been dumped out by a lower level side. It’s a humbling experience, it’s a humiliating experience because when all is said and done, they’re at it part time and we’re at it full time.
“There’s a big learning lesson I think for everybody in terms of the level you need to be at to get the best out of your abilities. It’s all well and good having abilities but you’ve got to have the attitude, desire, hunger and togetherness to go with it.
"You only need to listen to their dressing room right now to hear the sound of winning, that’s something that we need to learn. So far this season we’ve shown an in-and-out attitude to winning, we’ve won one we’ve lost one, our league form is exactly that. There isn’t the consistency so we’ve got to make sure we push the button on the winning habit and learn very, very quickly otherwise our season will drift away from us and we won’t be competing for honours.
“We struggled to break them down. We had the possession but in the final analysis we weren’t as clinical in their box as needed to be.”
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