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Magpies extend unbeaten run but let slip two-goal lead to draw with Bromley

Shaun Donnellan wheels away after scoring a stunning volley for Maidenhead. Photo by Darren Woolley.

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Maidenhead United 2, Bromley 2

Chris Bush fired home a stunning injury-time equaliser as Bromley came from two-goals down to share the spoils with high flying Maidenhead United.

The Magpies held a 2-0 lead early in the second half thanks to Danilo Orsi-Dadomo’s slick first-time finish and Shaun Donnellan’s thunderbolt on the volley.

But Neil Smith’s side responded with two sumptuous strikes of their own to snatch a point.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s thunderous left-footed effort from wide on the right swerved past Taye Ashby-Hammond in the 61st minute before Bush volleyed high past the United keeper from well outside the area in the 95th minute.

It was a game of cracking entertainment and exceptional goals and a draw was just about right on both sides given the balance of play.

There was little indication of what was to come during a cagey opening 20 minute played mainly in the middle third of the pitch. Both sides cancelled each other out until the 28th minute when James Alabi cut inside Maidenhead skipper Alan Massey before seeing his low strike turned around the post by Ashby-Hammond.

The Magpies grasped the lead a couple of minutes later thanks to the skill and perseverance of Josh Coley. The front man’s quick feet saw him evade a couple of challenges on the right edge of the area and he had the presence of mind to lift his head and pick out Orsi-Dadomo who side-footed the ball into the bottom corner. With confidence high he had another pop at goal a minute later, but this time the ball flew just over the angle of post and bar.

Massey’s blushes were spared five minutes before the break when his heavy touch let Michael Cheek run in on goal, but Ashby-Hammond spread himself well to make the block.

United then made a scintillating start to the second half. Coley’s low shot was half cleared to Donnellan on the edge of the area and his volley arrowed into the top corner, giving Bromley keeper Mark Cousins no chance.

It seemed likely the Magpies would stretch their unbeaten run in the National League to seven matches with another win, but they were stung by another stunner, this time from the boot of Hackett-Fairchild. There looked to be little danger when the wide man picked the ball up on the right touchline but he cut inside his marker and thumped a viscous strike beyond Ashby-Hammond, the ball moving in the air as it flashed past the keeper.

Galvanised by the goal Bromley pressed in the final half-hour, but it was the Magpies who carved out the better chances on the break. Coley shot just over after wriggling away from a couple of Bromley challenges on the edge of the area in the 65th minute and he over hit a cross for Orsi-Dadomo when the striker was unmarked and ready to pounce on a third. At the other end there were appeals for a penalty when Joe Kizzi’s shot was charged down by what looked like a flailing arm in the area.

United’s top scorer Sam Barratt had a relatively quiet game by his standards and he missed a glorious chance to kill the game in the 80th minute when he failed to get hold of Orsi-Dadomo’s cross and Cousins saved comfortably. Smith must have thought his luck was out when Massey headed Alabi’s strike off the goalline in injury-time, but there was still time for Bromley to break Maidenhead hearts through Bush’s 95th minute belter.

The draw lifted Maidenhead up to third in the National League ahead of the teatime kick-off between Wealdstone and Sutton United. Bromley drop a couple of places to 13th.

Reflecting on his side’s comeback, Smith said: “What a second goal they scored. You’re thinking ‘that should win any game’, but Reeco pulled out another worldie and you’ve got Bushy doing exactly the same. Three fantastic goals, it was end-to-end, anyone could have nicked it, but I thought first half, with all our possession, we didn’t deserve to lose.”

Assistant manager Ryan Peters added: “They’re a good side. We expect them to be up there come the end of the season. Before the game we would have probably taken a point but when you get to a minute before the end it’s hard to take. It shows how far we’ve come. We’re seven unbeaten and we’re still down in the dumps because we’ve drawn a game with Bromley.”

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