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Cole's stunning free-kick earns Maidenhead United a share of the spoils against Ebbsfleet United

Maidenhead United 1, Ebbsfleet United 1

Reece Cole swept home a glorious free kick as Maidenhead United came from behind to claim a deserved draw against Ebbsfleet United this evening (Tuesday).

The on-loan Brentford player had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes when the Magpies won a free-kick a few yards outside of the area, and the Bees u23s player curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner in the 73rd minute.

Goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore, again the pantomime villain for Magpies fans was given absolutely no chance.

Earlier Fleet had taken the lead through Michael Cheek’s 16th minute striker, the forward giving Seth Twumasi the slip from a Corey Whitely throughball to slot the ball beyond Carl Pentney. Pentney did get a  hand to the shot, but only managed to divert the ball out of the path of Alfie Kilgour who was covering on the line.

The Magpies understandably looked a little sluggish following their exertions in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Sutton United, but grew into the game as the half wore on. The best of their chances fell to Adrian Clifton, who dispossessed his marker to go through on goal. However, the Montserrat striker’s finish was a weak one and Ashmore comfortably saved.

Talk ahead of kick-off was all about the return on loan of Dave Tarpey, and the front man had a lively enough showing in his first match back for the Magpies before being replaced by Josh Kelly in the 63rd minute.

Fleet could easily have put the game to bed in the second half but Pentney did well to foil Cheek, from a similar angle to his opening goal, in the 55th minute. Cheek again went clear in the 60th minute but Rene Steer’s crucial sliding challenge sent his shot ballooning over for a corner kick.

The Magpies moved through the gears after Cole’s stunning introduction and looked the more likely winners in the closing stages. Alan Massey caught a volley sweetly from the edge of the area in the 83rd minute but it flashed over the bar, while Clifton’s snap-shot on the turn from just inside the D must have gone inches wide with two minutes to play.

At the other end Danny Kedwell’s looping header very nearly crept inside Pentney’s far post, while Jack King headed a very presentable chance wide in stoppage time.

After a competitive and hard-fought 90 minutes the draw was fair on both teams.

Maidenhead United:Pentney, Steer, Odametey (Cole 71’), Obileye, Kilgour, Comley, Worsfold, Twumasi, Clifton, Massey, Tarpey (Kelly 63’). 

Attendance: 1,055

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