06:34PM, Saturday 14 April 2018
Maidenhead United 3, Dover Athletic 2
Maidenhead United twice came from behind before clinching all three points with Max Kilman’s wonderful late strike at York Road.
Dover twice took the lead in a crazy second half spell, only to be pegged back by their belligerent hosts.
Anthony Jeffrey, a real live wire for the visitors in the first half, put Athletic ahead in the 49th minute, with a shot from what looked an impossible angle, tight to the goal line on the right side of the area.
Their lead lasted two minutes before Jake Hyde read Sam Barratt’s in-swinging free-kick from the right and, having controlled the ball well, walked it into the net past a wrong-footed Mitch Walker.
Dover came back again, with Manny Parry steering the ball beyond Pentney in the 49th minute, but, once again, Dover failed to cope with Maidenhead’s presence in the box, and Barratt’s long-throw found a way through for Ryan Upward to make it 2-2 on the hour.
Dover pressed in the final stages, desperate for a victory which could reignite their promotion hopes, but instead, they were left flattened by Kilman’s wonderful drive in the 93rd minute, the shot taking the smallest of deflections en route to finding the top corner. It was the young players’ first goal for the first team having come up through the ranks at Maidenhead.
The first half was a largely forgettable affair that was shaded by the visitors. Jeffrey caused Rene Steer, playing out of position at right back, all sorts of problems, but Steer stuck to his task and eventually got to grips with the visiting winger, who was removed by Chris Kinnear before the end. Mitchell Pinnock went close with an effort that bounced wide of Pentney’s post in the 10th minute, and was later booked for simulation after going over the leg of Jake Goodman rather too theatrically. Giancarlo Gallifuoco headed the ball into the net in the 39th minute, after Pentney saved from Liam Bellamy’s shot, but the Magpies were saved by the linesman’s flag. Alan Massey then got back to deflect Jeffrey’s shot over the line after Pentney had made a partial save from the winger to take the sting out of the strike. However, for all of their possession, Dover created few clear cut chances, and the defensive duo of Massey and Goodman kept Athletic’s front man Ryan Bird very quiet.
Magpies manager Alan Devonshire reflected: “It’s nice to come back twice to win it. The character of the lads was great. I thought it was deserved to be fair. It’s a nice three points and we move on.
“Max is a lovely lad, so laid back, but I’m really pleased for him. He had a good game to be fair, apart from that. I know that the boys have got that in the locker. I’m delighted for them. We’re trying to target the top 12. We’ve got some hard games coming up, but that’s what we want to do.”
Dover boss Chris Kinnear added: “It’s massively disappointing, because in the first half we were so much on top. Every time we’ve gone in front we’ve made the same mistake.
“They’ve got to learn pretty quick. It’s just a waste, we’ve wasted a lot of points, but that’s what happens with inexperience. But they’ve got to learn pretty quick if they want to be in the play-offs.”
Maidenhead United (4-4-2) Pentney, Steer, Massey, Goodman, Kilman, Odametey, Comley, Upward, Barratt, Hyde (Marks 81’), Clifton (Pritchard 86’): Subs not used: Emmanuel, Owusu, Smith
Highlights uploaded to YouTube by FC Video
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