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Maamria: "That is football"

24 March 2019

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Dino Maamria says that Saturday's draw at Macclesfield Town "feels like a loss" after the opposition scored in injury time to deny Stevenage all three points...

Having got away with a below-par first half performance to go into the break with the scores level, Maamria's men kicked on in the second half to dominate the game and take a 2-1 lead into added time.

Despite not being under any real pressure thoughout the second half, Macclesfield's Danny Whitaker popped up inside the box to deny Stevenage victory with one of the last kicks of the game.

"They are gutted, the players. They came here wanting to win. They know the score, they know that we had to win today if we are going to finish the season strong. Not because it is Macclesfield, but because it is that stage of the season now where we have to win every game.

“We prepared well, we came here with the intention to win the game and we have done that for 93 minutes, and conceded last minute. That is football sometimes. It feels like a loss.

“We come away from here after giving everything. It was difficult conditions, the pitch was quite dry, very small. We could not get our threats on the ball. Ilias (Chair) could not find the space to affect the game as much as we wanted him to. Having said that, we scored two away from home.”

“Our performances away from home have been better lately, this is our fourth away game unbeaten. But, we needed to win today, and we did not.”

One big positive for Stevenage was the return of Danny Newton after almost two months out with injury. Newton entered the fray at the start of the second half and reopened his account within just five minutes.

“It is a huge boost for us, we have missed Danny Newton. At this club, the top two goal scorers from the last two years are Matty Godden and Danny Newton. Matty Godden has gone to Peterborough and Danny Newton has hardly played this season.

"We have been lacking Danny Newton. He came on today and you see what I mean. Half a chance and he put it in the back of the net. That is what we have been missing. I thought he was brilliant when he came on."

Chances came and went in the second half to put the game out of sight and in a cruel turn of events, stoppage time goals both at Moss Rose and Meadow Lane have given Stevenage a mountain to overcome if they are to extend their season with a Play-Off push.

Despite that, Maamria says he and his players will keep fighting one game at a time.

“A season defining moment for us. Exeter won the game in the last kick of the game, and we draw the game last kick of the game. You look back at that and think, three points from the play-offs to seven points in a minute. That is football. Difficult to take, but we will move on.

“I am focused to beat Notts County next week. That is what we have got to do. We have got a home game, at home we have been good this season, we have just got to make sure that we win next week.

"It is now three games unbeaten. However you want to dress it, I think the last four games have been really good. Against Bury we lost in the last minute of the game but we were very good. Swindon game was very good, MK Dons was very good.

“Today we were worthy of the win. The performance level has been better in the last four games. We nicked a draw away to Oldham that we did not deserve, today they nicked a draw they did not deserve. That is football.”

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