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Stevenage 2-2 Forest Green

By David C
November 29 2004

Two goals in the last two minutes by substitute Dino Maamria saw Boro capture an amazing comeback, although it has to be said it was harsh on strugglers Forest Green and they did deserve to win. The match also saw Jason Goodliffe and Anthony Elding pick up their 5th yellow cards, which means they will miss the vital FA Cup 2nd Round tie against Rochdale next week. Graham Westley made two changes from the side that drew with Scarborough last weekend, with Jason Goodliffe and Michael Brough coming in for Jon Brady and Mark Rogers, who were both on the bench. Boro strikers Anthony Elding and Craig McAllister linked up early on to create chances, the first for Michael Brough, and his shot was deflected over the bar. A minute later Brough and Elding both had chances again, but they were blocked, one of them possibly being with a defending hand, but the referee did not see it. Boro paid for their missed chances, as Forest Green created their first opportunity of the game. Charlie Griffin knocked the ball away from Andy Woodman, and Mark Beesley pounced home. Question marks over Andy Woodman there. After this, chances could've been created, but were was too many long balls being played. Just before half-time, Jason Goodliffe sneaked in at the back post, but his header hit the post.

Half-time: Stevenage Borough 0-1 Forest Green Rovers

There were no changes at half-time by either manager, but there was a change in the scoreline on 49 minutes. Bad defending saw the ball come out to Mark Beesley on the edge of the area, who took his chance well and blasted home past Andy Woodman. On 57 minutes, there was a double substitution which saw Dino Maamria and Simon Weatherstone come on for Robert Quinn and Richie Hanlon. This almost had an immediate effect though, as an Anthony Elding shot was saved, but Dino Maamria, under pressure from Forest Green defenders, couldn't finish the resulting rebound. George Boyd, who what has to be said didn't play as well as he usually does, had a curling shot which went over. Elding, Bulman and Hocking also had chances which they couldn't convert. After the game seemed over, Maamria got Boro back into it. After a corner by Dannie Bulman, him and Brough both went for it, but the final touch seemed to come of Maamria and he was given the goal. As the three minutes of injury time were announced, Boro pushed forward, and after a goalmouth scramble, the ball came to Maamria from 12 yards out, and he blasted home. There was relief around Broadhall Way, and this was proved by the Boro celebrations by the players and fans.

Boro: Woodman 5, Hocking 6, Goodliffe 6, Quinn 6 (Maamria 8), Gregory 5, Hanlon 5 (Weatherstone 5), Brough 7, Bulman 7, Boyd 4, Elding 6, McAllister 4 (Brady 6)

Forest Green: Williams, Lyttle, Garner, Gadsby, Searle, Roberts, Watson (Louis), Reed, Davies, Griffin, Beesley

Man of the match: Dino Maamria

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