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Devonshire hopes Maidenhead United can build on solid defensive display against The Shots

Maidenhead United created enough chances to defeat an out-of-sorts Aldershot Town on New Year’s Day, but manager Alan Devonshire was satisfied enough with the goalless draw and hopes to build upon the side’s ‘first clean sheet for a while’.

United put in a much improved display from their 1-0 defeat to Braintree Town on Saturday and only a lick of paint and poor finishing prevented them from picking up a very useful three points at the EBB Stadium.

James Comley returned to his central midfield berth and, pulling the strings for the visitors, prompted several dangerous moments. Ryan Bird should have been awarded a penalty in the first half, when he was brought down by Alex Finney’s clumsy challenge in the area, while Bird missed another chance in the second half, shooting tamely at goal with only Will Mannion to beat. Max Worsfold saw a rising drive tipped onto the angle of post and crossbar by Mannion while Josh Kelly – back to some-thing resembling his lively best – swept a 72nd minute shot over the bar after turning Finney inside out with some neat trickery.

“Yeah, of course it is (a point gained),” Devonshire said afterwards. “Look we’ve had enough chances.

“I thought Josh was going to score, Birdy had another good chance. But listen, that’s our first clean sheet for a while (since the side beat Sutton United 1-0 away at the end of November).

“Defensively we were sound and it’s given us something to build on.

“Considering they scored three against us at our place, I didn’t feel Carl (Pentney) had a lot to deal with.

“We’ve created more than they did but, listen, we’ll take a point away from home.

“You always love three but we’ll take a point and move on. It’s another point on the board toward the total of where we want to be. We’re now halfway there.”

The Magpies have 25 points to their name ahead of Saturday’s trip to bogey club Gateshead.

Steve Watson’s men ran out 7-1 winners in the corresponding fixture last season and also thumped United 3-1 in the opening match of this season.

“Every game is going to be a hard one,” said Devonshire. “But we’ve got a few players coming back now.

“Coms (Comley) came back in and made a difference and I think Ryan Upward will be back before next week.

“Nana Owusu was also out today but we’ve just got to get on with it.

“We’ve missed Coms, he makes us tick and we’ve missed Uppy’s all-round energy.

“Gateshead are a team who’ve been hammering us recently but things will hopefully change on Saturday. We’ll go there and set up slightly differently and we’ll see where it takes us.”


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