07:33PM, Tuesday 05 February 2019
Pic of Richard Mulvany
Maidenhead Men’s 1sts ground out an ‘ugly win’ over Ashford 1sts on Saturday, putting points in the bank while their title rivals were left kicking their heels.
Maids managed to play their game at Ashford on Saturday, winning 2-1 with first half goals from David Tyler and Richard Mulvany. It was one of only two MBBO Regional 1 games to beat the icy weather and the points banked by Maids lifts them seven clear of closest rivals Oxford OBU whose game at Witney 1sts was postponed.
Captain Chris Brown admitted his depleted side weren’t at their very best, but they showed the togetherness to grind out another win, their 14th of an unbeaten season.
“We’re very proud of our unbeaten record,” Brown said. “Games like Saturday are when you have to grind out a result. In previous seasons that kind of game might have gone the other way but the togetherness we’ve developed over the past few seasons is standing us in good stead.
“That wasn’t the performance we wanted on Saturday and we can certainly improve but the result was the most important thing. It certainly wasn’t pretty, in fact it was probably one of our ugliest wins of the season but the result was all important when a lot of other games were postponed.
“Having points on the board is really valuable and it puts pressure on our rivals to win their games in hand. I’d always rather have points on the board than games in hand.”
Maids didn’t quite click on Saturday, despite racing into a 2-0 half-time lead. They had the chances to kill off Ashford but their hosts, who pulled a goal back with around 15 minutes to go, remained a threat until the final whistle.
“It was a tough game because they had some real quality,” said Brown. “We had some issues with illness so we weren’t as strong as we might have been. At 2-0 we were reasonably dominant and in control but we couldn’t quite kill them off.
“They didn’t have lots of clear cut chances but they had a lot of pressure. Our keeper Callum Ewing made an excellent save when it was only 1-0 and we made sure we stayed switched on to the end.”
On Saturday, struggling Sonning 1sts – one of only three teams to have taken points off Maids this season - visit Altwood School.
Brown said: “If we don’t capitalise on Saturday’s victory by beating teams that are down at the wrong end of the table then Saturday’s win won’t mean anything. They’ll be scrapping for every point to ensure they stay in the division.
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All lines are currently blocked between London Paddington and Reading after a person was hit by a train between Maidenhead and Slough.