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Sucker punch own goal leads to second half collapse against Hartlepool United

Alan Massey headed into his own net just before half-time

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Maidenhead United 0, Hartlepool United 4

Maidenhead United were made to pay for their failure to take a succession of first half chances as they lost 4-0 to Hartlepool United this afternoon.

Victory lifts Pools top of the table on goal difference but boss Dave Challinor admitted afterwards they’d been handed a ‘get out of jail free card’ by the Magpies wasteful finishing.

The home side should have been 3-0 up and out of sight before their skipper Alan Massey headed the ball into his own net just before the interval.

Pools then clinically put the game to bed in the first 10 minutes of the second half, Claudio Ofusu slotting the ball past Taye Ashby-Hammond after racing clear on the right side of the Magpies’ defence before Ryan Johnson hammered home a third via the underside of the crossbar to make the game safe.

More goals could have followed for the visitors, with Joe Grey nearly waltzing his way through to score a sublime solo goal. Gavan Holohan eventually put the seal on an impressive second half display, firing a deflected shot past the Magpies goalkeeper with six minutes left on the clock.

The result takes Hartlepool top and leaves Maidenhead very much rock bottom, the Magpies now one of only three sides who have yet to pick up a point.

Their first half display was promising. Nathan Blissett tested Ben Killip with a fierce low volley in the ninth minute before Danilo Orsi-Dadomo failed to bundle home George Wells’ fine cross from only three yards out five minutes later. Orsi-Dadomo then wasted his second great chance of the half, pulling his shot wide of the post with only Killip to beat.

And, before they could catch their breath, they were behind. A hopeful Pools’ punt into the box skimmed off the head of Massey and beat Ashby-Hammond. It was a sucker punch for the hosts but worse was to follow. Remy Clerima was caught out of position pushing forward and Ofusu skilfully finished off a quick counter to make it 2-0 in the 49th minute. Johnson’s hammer blow in the 53rd minute left the Magpies reeling and they hardly laid a glove on Pools after that.

“We were nowhere near it in the first half,” said Challinor. “The game should have been over. We were very lucky. That’s massively our get out of jail free card. We should have been well out of the game. But we really gained from that first goal and kicked on in the second half going down the slope with the wind at our backs.

Magpies boss Alan Devonshire reflected: “It’s a 4-0 defeat and it looks like we were terrible, but first half we were really, really good. Second half we were really, really bad. That’s all I can say.”

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Formations:

Maidenhead United (4-4-2): Ashby-Hammond 6; Wells 7, Massey 6, Wiltshire 6, Clerima 7 (Twumasi 80’ 6); Donnellan 7, Upward 6 (Coley 85’ 6), Sparkes 7, Smile 6; Blissett 7 (Barratt 75’ 6), Orsi-Dadomo 6. Subs not used: Parry, Comley.

Hartlepool United (4-4-2): Killip 8; Cass 7, Johnson 8, Odusina 6, Ferguson 7; Shelton 8 (Oates 59’ 7), Donaldson 7 (Grey 72’ 8), Featherstone 7, Holohan 8; Ofusu 7 (Crawford 59’ 7), Bloomfield 7. Subs not used: MacDonald, Ravas.

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