OLDHAM boss Dino Maamria was full of praise for his side but had a stern word for the officials after they secured a point away from home drawing with Stevenage.

The Latics showed plenty of endeavour in tough conditions against League Two’s bottom side but had to settle for the draw.

Pleased that his side were able to show intent and their willingness to play, one point of frustration for Maamria was when he had to substitute goalkeeper Gary Woods after a collision with Elliott List.

“The performance was good – you can see what we’re trying to do – so I have nothing but praise for my lads tonight,” said Maamria, who was back at Broadhall Way for the first time since being sacked as manager in September.

“The conditions were really tough, but I felt we were the side that played, or certainly showed an intention to do so. We had some really good chances, and Desire (Segbe Azankpo) is disappointed he hasn’t taken one.

“But it will come. Ever since I arrived at the football club, I’ve had nothing but support and commitment from this group of players and the chairman, and we are going the right way.

“We were robbed at the weekend, which we’ve had words about with the relevant authorities, and for me it’s a red card all day for that challenge on Gary (Woods).

“He’s (Elliott List) gone in high and straight into his ribs, and I can’t understand why the referee hasn’t even had a word with the player.”

Jonny Smith was at the heart of Oldham’s attacking endeavours, his rasping left-footed effort from just outside the area stinging Paul Farman’s palms before the winger, on loan from Bristol City, delivered a free-kick which the Stevenage keeper did well to deal with.

Maamria’s men grew into the game with another chance went when Smith put the ball into the side netting and then Azankpo had the ball in the net 10 minutes before the break, but it was ruled offside.

A beleaguered Stevenage finally gave their fans something to cheer when List forced Woods into a decent save, but that would be the final meaningful contribution from Oldham’s number one as he came off with a suspected dislocated shoulder, forcing Zeus de la Paz into service.

In the second-half Stevenage began to threaten more when Joe Leesley, recently borrowed from Harrogate, drew an excellent low save from De la Paz to his right, before Luther Wildin fired just wide from 25 yards, De la Paz scrambling across late.

But Azankpo’s frustrating evening came to a head with a quarter of the tie left, the forward having yet another effort ruled out for offside, before he scuppered the chance of the game.

Baring down on goal, the clear option was a dink over the keeper, but Paul Farman matched De la Paz’s efforts with a brilliant piece of work. Extending himself, the ball cannoned into his chest with Maamria turning away in disbelief.

Oldham sit 18th in the league and welcome Carlisle United to Boundary Park on Saturday and Maamria hopes to add to his squad in the coming weeks having secured a return for Zak Dearnley ahead of kick-off

 “The lads who have come in and have been really good for us, none more so than Pierg (Carl Piergianni),” said the Latics boss.

“I actually think it’s a bit of a travesty that he hasn’t played higher than League Two, but we’re obviously delighted to have him. He adds so much, on and off the pitch.

“Hopefully we can add a couple more permanent bodies in this window, but we aren’t going to panic or rush. “We’re in a good space and as long as we keep working to a process, the goal remains to build a side that can win this division next season.”

Stevenage (4-4-2): Paul Farman 8; Luther Wildin 6 (Terence Vancooten 68 6), Paul Digby 6, Ben Nugent 5, Chris Stokes 6; Elliott List 6 (Jason Cowley 62 6), Charlie Carter 5, Michael Timlin 5 (Ben Kennedy 81 6), Charlie Lakin 6; Kurtis Guthrie 6, Joe Leesley 6

Subs not used: Sacha Bastien, Dean Parrett, Paul Taylor, Tyler Denton

Oldham Athletic (3-4-3): Gary Woods 6 (Zeus de la Paz 45+5 7); David Wheater 6, Carl Piergianni 7, Zak Mills 7; Tom Hamer 6, Christian N’Guessan 7, David Jones 7 (Mohamad Sylla 55 6), Jonny Smith 8; Gevaro Nepomuceno 7 (Scott Wilson 80 6), Desire Segbe Azankpo 7, Christopher Missilou 6

Subs not used: Johan Branger-Engone, Mohammed Maouche, Tomas Egert, Zak Dearnley

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 2,156