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Lights go out on below par Maidenhead United but Peters hopes poor display was just a blip

Ryan Peters has admitted Maidenhead United were well below their usual levels during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Altrincham, but he’s confident they can shrug off the performance as a blip in an otherwise encouraging season.

United’s display in the North West was untypically lethargic in comparison to their previous display at home to Bromley and, as they failed to match their hosts tempo and enthusiasm after a first half floodlight failure, it was no surprise to see them come up short.

Josh Hancock broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute after Ryan Colclough had been brought down in the penalty area and margin of victory was widened in the 80th minute when Tom Peers collected Matty Kosylo’s ball to fire home their second.

The result brought an end to Maidenhead’s seven-game unbeaten run in the National League – while extending their winless streak to three matches in the process. It dropped them to sixth in the table ahead of the mid-week fixtures. The postponement of Tuesday night’s home game with Dover Athletic – due to a COVID event in the visitors’ camp – means their next match is away to Eastleigh on Saturday.

“We were well below our levels unfortunately,” said Peters. “When you put in as much as we’ve put in over the last few games there’s going to be a tail off at some point. That happened on Saturday.

“They’re a good side and they played some good football at times, but we weren’t able to get close enough to their goal to put them under any pressure.

Before the floodlights went out, we had just started to get on top. But that 10/15-minute break just took the wind out of us. After half-time they stepped it up a notch and we just couldn’t get anywhere near their goal.

“We were under no illusions it was going to be difficult. Energy levels are going to fluctuate because of the amount of effort we’re putting into games. We’ve had several muscle injuries as well which means you’re changing personnel more often than you would like to. But listen, the run the boys have been on has been terrific and the boys’ attitude towards training and matches has also been terrific. So, as far as we’re concerned it’s just a blip.”

The outcome might have been different had the Magpies taken a handful of half chances which fell their way in the first half. Danilo Orsi-Dadomo pulled a decent opportunity wide of the target after being played through on goal, but Peters accepted the side lacked teeth in the final third.

“We had a few half chances, one in the first half when Danilo went through and he dragged it wide, but we create maybe three or four good chances a game usually and it wasn’t like that on Saturday,” he said.

“We weren’t really at our best in terms of our attacking prowess, but we were up against a team that were in reasonably good form. They play a good brand of football and their pitch is very small, so they’ve become very good at playing the ball between the lines effectively.

“We didn’t take them lightly; we knew they would be good. But it was more of a case of us not getting to the level that we would normally be at. That was our undoing.”

Remy Clerima and Nathan Blissett returned to the squad following injury for Saturday’s game at Altrincham and Alan Devonshire and Peters will hope to see a few more players shake off their knocks in the coming weeks. Alongside Clerima and Blissett, George Wells, Dan Sparkes and James Comley have all missed matches in recent weeks.

“As you get some back you lose others,” said Peters. “That’s why you have such a big squad, but the gaffer would love to be able to pick from a full squad. Mentally we’ve got to make sure we bounce back from this loss because we haven’t had one in a while. We must go out and show that Saturday was a blip.

“A loss is a loss. You take it the same way whether you’ve won seven in a row or lost seven in a row.

“You’ve still lost, and we want everyone in this squad to have that winning mentality. Nothing has changed and we want to bounce back from this as quickly as we can.”

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