Dino Maamria was left cursing a “season-defining” minute in which his Stevenage side fell to seven points off the play-offs with a 2-2 draw at Macclesfield.
Danny Whitaker’s stoppage-time equaliser, coupled with Exeter’s late winner at Notts County, meant Stevenage went from the verges of a play-off place to looking unlikely for the post-season.
“We were fantastic in the second half but I’m disappointed to lose that goal with the last kick of the game, it feels like a loss,” he said. “We tried to seal it off by going to a back three, they put a lot of balls into our box but we dealt with them pretty well until that last kick.
“Both teams were hesitant, both needed to win, and the two teams cancelled each other out. I told them to go out and do what they do best in the second half, but if we’d dealt with that last cross we’d have seen the game out.
“It may be a season-defining moment because Exeter won with the last kick of the game and we drew with the last kick of the game, we’ve gone from three points from the play-offs to seven points in one minute – that’s football, eh.”
Macclesfield led just before half time, Elliott Durrell slotting in the opener, but Stevenage still found time to draw level before the break, Ben Nugent heading in at a set-piece.
And six minutes into the second half Dan Newton, on as a substitute at the break, fired in a smart second goal for Stevenage.
And just as it looked like they had seen off Macc’s meagre response Whitaker – an 80th-minute substitute – pounced deep into stoppage time.
“We should have maybe been out of sight, goal-wise, in the first half,” said Macc boss Sol Campbell, whose team went from bottom spot to one win from safety in that last minute.
“We could have done better in a few situations but it’s hard, you can see it there then the chance slips away.
“We started really well but we’ve got to kill teams off, when we have those opportunities we need to be ruthless because we don’t have the luxury of letting chances get away.
“It’s a day of mixed emotions for us but that could prove to be a massive point for us going forward. We’ll keep believing we can get out of it, we battle to the end, we have to. That’s the beauty of football, I think it will go down to the wire, maybe the last game of the season.”