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Maamria: "Learn, Grow, Bounce-Back"

11 August 2019

Dino Maamria felt hard done by following Stevenage's defeat to Exeter City on Saturday as a controversial moment late in the match ended up proving costly for his side...

After a tight content between the two teams in which chances came at a premium, a penalty box incident which saw Chris Stokes downed after being struck in the face, Exeter went onto score from the resulting corner to make it 1-0 with minutes to go.

"I need to speak about the goal because it was a huge moment in the game," Maamria said. "I mean, I hope the Football League will show the incident tonight because their forward actually smacked Stokesy right in the face, across the face in clear view of the referee in the 88th minute right before their goal.

"The corner we ended up defending with 10 because Stokesy was having treatment on the outside and they score from it. It was a big, big moment in the game and the referee should have done his job there because it was clear he was 5 yards away from it and it is unforgivable really.

"What I told Stokesy there is all though you are hurt, unfortunaly, you have to stand up and defend the corner first because you do not want to defend the corner with 10 men with 5 minutes left."

Maamria felt that after a strong first three quarters to the match, his side began to flag late on as fatigue began to affect his injury-hit squad.

"It was a close game to be fair. The first half was a very, very good half and we should have scored two or three. We didn’t, it happens sometimes. Second half, we stayed on the front foot and played most of it in their half until probably about the last 10 to 15 minutes when one or two of our boys struggling physically and they probably sensed that moment and they got the goal."

The result means that Stevenage start the season with two straight defeats and although Maamria admits it is a far from ideal way to begin the new campaign, he believes it is only a matter of time before his side begin to find their rhythm and begin picking up points.

"It is not a good start. I never imagined starting the season off with two losses, but it happens. You have to find the reasons why it happens, and you got to learn from them and you got to grow from them and we got to make sure we bounce back.

“What we need to find is the rhythm. It is the first time Taylor has played with Danny Newton, the first time he has played with Kurtis. When things click together, when we get everyone back fit and on the pitch, when we find a system that suits us, I am sure we will get going and the fans will see a lot of good football coming through.”

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