06:57PM, Saturday 07 October 2017
Maidenhead United 3, Aldershot Town 3
Maidenhead United and Aldershot Town served up an excellent advert for National League football on Non League Day, with Jim Kellermann getting his second of the game in second half injury-time to deny the Magpies all three points.
The Magpies were looking for a response after Tuesday night’s horror show at Torquay United and manager Alan Devonshire will have been delighted by the performance, if not entirely satisfied with the result at York Road.
His part-time, side once again showed tremendous character to battle back from a 2-1 half-time deficit to take the lead through Harry Pritchard’s penalty with a few minutes remaining.
It looked as though they’d hold on for a fourth home win in a row, but, with the Shots piling bodies forward and the clock ticking on into stoppage time, the ball fell kindly for Kellermann on the edge of the box and he guided the ball into the back of Carl Pentney’s net off the post.
The Magpies began the game well, looking to repeat their fast start against Guiseley from the previous week, but this time they weren’t able to snatch an early goal. The closest they came was when James Comley’s dangerous ball into the box deflected off the shin of Will Evans but Jake Cole was able to scoop the ball up.
Manny Oyeleke and Harry Pritchard fired over as the two sides exchanged presentable chances early on before the visitors edged in front on 17 minutes when Evans’ diagonal ball forward was headed by Scott Rendell into the path of Kellermann who slotted past Pentney.
Their lead lasted all of 60 seconds before being cancelled out by Adrian Clifton’s well-taken strike. The midfielder turned striker losing his man before lifting a lovely left-footed shot over the onrushing Cole from Pritchard’s pass.
The Shots retook the lead three minutes before half-time though when the Magpies were opened up on the right and Fabien Robert crossed for Adam McDonnell to head past Pentney from close range.
United might have been trailing at the break but they weren’t out of the contest by a long shot and they levelled in the 63rd minute when half-time substitute Dean Inman rose well to loop a backward header over Cole and into the net from Pritchard’s throw.
It looked like the Magpies had been presented with all three points when Inman’s header struck a hand in the box and Pritchard thumped the ball low past Cole from the spot in the 87th minute. But, willed on by a noisy, vociferous away end the Shots came again and, when Max Kilman could only partially clear a cross, Kellermann smashed the ball into the turf and in off the post from the edge of the box.
“We defended poorly,” said Devonshire after the game. “That’s why I made the change at half-time and I felt that in the second half we dominated. Once we got 3-2 up I couldn’t see them scoring.
“The ball ricocheted and fell for him (Kellemann) on the edge of the box. We should have done better but I’m not going to lay into them. We’ve got a 3-3 draw against a good side and maybe could have won it.”
Gary Waddock reflected: “We end up chasing it at the end when I thought we were in a fairly comfortable position. You have to give great credit to Maidenhead, the way they continued to play on the front foot and battle away. But to get ourselves in a good position and to then have to chase it - everyone will say that it’s good character from the players to keep chasing - but I wanted to win it.”
Maidenhead United (4-4-2)
Pentney 7, Clerima 7, Massey 7, Goodman 6 (Inman 45’ 9), Kilman 7 Odametey 7, Comley 8 Upward 7, Pritchard 7, Hyde 7 (Barratt 78’ 7), Clifton 8 (Smith 86’ 7)
Aldershot Town (4-5-1): Cole 8, Alexander 7, Evans 8, Reynolds 7, Arthur 7, Fenelon 7 (Okojie 82’ 7), Oyeleke 7, Kellermann 9, McDonnell 8 (Rowe 74’ 7), Robert 8 (De Havilland 74’ 7), Rendell 9.
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