Maynard: 'The decision by the referee was a big call and decided Eastleigh game'
Stuart Maynard was disappointed that “the biggest moment in the game was a refereeing decision” as the Stones fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Eastleigh on Saturday.
Eastleigh’s goal from Tristan Abrahams just before the hour came after an adjudged foul on Deji Elerewe was spotted by the linesman, but the referee decided to play on after the Stones defence had stopped.
"Neither side deserved to win it," said Maynard. "The biggest frustration is, it was decided by a referee's call – and it's a big call. He’s used his lino all game, and every time the lino’s flagged he’s gone with it. Deji [Elerewe] goes to usher it out the pitch, and he gets pulled to the floor. The lino flags aggressively, everyone stops and he’s still flagging, and the ref plays on. I don't get why he overturned it. I've never known it [happen]. It's really frustrating."
Due to the hot conditions, and the need for several drinks breaks in the game, coupled with the nine yellow cards and numerous fouls, a stop-start game never really got going as a spectacle, and Maynard added that “neither side deserved to win the game”.
“We were competitive all game, we had more possession than they did, and if you look at the game, we got our wingers 1v1 in the 18 yard box loads today, we got in good areas," he said.
In a game which lacked clear-cut chances, Maynard thought his side “moved the ball well” against a more direct Eastleigh side.
“We lacked a little bit of end product in the final third, which was disappointing, but it’s the second game of the season and we moved the ball well. Their style of play is a bit different to ours: they go more direct, whereas we like to play through the thirds and get the ball into our wingers.”
Next up for the Stones is a trip to former Premier League side Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night. Maynard insists his side “don’t need motivating” no matter who they play.
“We’ve got a squad of lads who are young, they’re hungry, whether it’s Oldham, Wrexham, Eastleigh – they’ll be motivated. They want success and want to kick on. We’ve just got to get our recovery right on Monday, and then me and Matty [Saunders] will start looking at Oldham and start prepping.”
• Pictures by Jon Taffel