Football preview: Maidenhead United look to close in on promotion at Truro City

Daniel Darlington

Reporter:

Daniel Darlington

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Truro City v Maidenhead United

Maidenhead United can take a massive step toward the National League this afternoon, if they can overcome a Truro City side fighting to avoid the drop.

In fact, if they were to win, and Ebbsfleet’ lose or draw at Margate, Alan Devonshire’s men would be champions.

The Magpies briefly moved eight points clear at the top of the table with their win over Concord on Friday only to see Ebbsfleet cut it back to five after coming from behind at half-time to beat Eastbourne 4-1 on Saturday.

City, who held Fleet to a 1-1 draw in Cornwall two weeks ago, continue flounder at the wrong end of the table. They sit just a place and a couple of points outside of the relegation zone after losing 3-2 at Welling United on Friday.

At the end of August the Magpies ran out 2-0 winners over the White Tigers at York Road with Dave Tarpey helping himself to a brace to take his tally at that stage to 10 goals. He’s since added a further 33 strikes, the latest of which came from the penalty spot in Friday’s routine win over Concord Rangers on Friday (see highlights uploaded to YouTube by FC Video below).

Tarpey seems to enjoy playing against Truro. Last season he scored all four of United’s goals in a 4-4 draw with the Cornish side.

A point there today  could potential open the door for Fleet to get back into the title picture, however, the Magpies know they’ll be champions if they win two of their final three fixtures.

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Chesham United v Slough Town

Slough Town could wrap up their play-off spot this afternoon with a win at Chesham United.

The Rebels were surprisingly beaten 2-0 at home by relegation threatened Cirencester Town on Friday – a performance joint manager Jon Underwood labelled as ‘disgraceful’.

But they were given a reprieve thanks to Banbury United’s failure to beat Hitchin Town on Saturday. It all means Slough, who are level with fourth placed Merthyr Town on 83 points, hold a three point advantage over Banbury with two matches to play, although Banbury have a slightly stronger goal difference.

However, if the Rebels can win or draw this afternoon, and Banbury are beaten at second placed Leamington, they’ll secure a play-off berth.

Chesham, 11th in the table, were beaten 2-0 at Weymouth on Friday.

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Marlow v Chalfont St Peter

Marlow are closing in on a play-off place after Saturday’s 2-0 win at Northwood.

The Blues, who host Chalfont St Peter at Oak Tree Road today (Monday), hold a three point advantage over sixth placed Egham Town with just two fixtures left to play.

On paper Chalfont shouldn’t pose too many problems for the Blues on current form. Charlie Barton netted twice and Nathan Poulton was also on target as the Blues eased to a 3-1 win over them back at the start of January.

On Saturday the Blues clinically dispatched Northwood with a goal in either half from Isaac Osei-Tutu and Poulton.

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Walton & Hersham v Windsor 

Windsor, who travel to third placed Walton & Hersham this afternoon (Monday), played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against North Greenford on Saturday.

The Royalists trailed 1-0 at the break but two goals early in the second half from Riccardo Cannon and Kieran Knight gave the visitors the advantage.

Mick Woodham’s men appeared to be closing in on their third win in four matches until North Greenford popped up with an equaliser seven minutes from time.

Windsor, 13th in the table after Saturday’s draw, complete their Combined Counties Premier Division campaign at home to Camberley Town on Saturday.

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Burnham missed the chance to leapfrog Oxford City Nomads into third from bottom on Saturday after losing 3-2 at Tuffley Rovers.  

With a handful of fixtures still to be played the Blues finish the Hellenic Premier Division campaign second from bottom, three points above Henley Town and that should be enough for survival.

Mark Betts and Jon Palmer’s side trailed 2-0 at the break against Tuffley on Saturday before staging a spirited second half fight back. Josh Jackman scored the second of their goals from the penalty spot seven minutes from time to make it 3-2, however, Rovers held on for a hardfought win.  

See highlights of Burnham's defeat at Tuffley, uploaded to Youtube by Mike Watkins, below.

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Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers

Wycombe Wanderers will look to make it four away wins in a row when they visit Barnet this afternoon.

Manager Gareth Ainsworth still has his eyes on a fairytale finish to the season, despite Friday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Mansfield Town.

The Chairboys sit down in 13th place after Friday’s setback but Ainsworth believes four wins from their final four matches could be enough to take them back into the play-off places.

Barnet are eight points adrift of the Chairboys in 16th position.

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Reading v Rotherham

Reading will look to further cement their place in the play-offs when relegated Rotherham United visit the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

The Royals banished memories of their 7-1 defeat at Norwich with a brilliant 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Saturday to move back above Leeds United into fourth place.

Jaap Stam’s men will be looking to add a 33rd defeat of the season to a beleaguered Rotherham side who’ll be playing in League 1 again next season.

The Royals proved too strong for Steve Bruce’s Villan’s on Saturday. Joseph Mendes arrowed home to put the visitors in front in the sixth minute and, after James Chester had levelled for the home side, goals from Mendes again just after half-time and a late Lewis Grabban penalty sealed the points.

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