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Bank holiday blanks round off week to forget for Dev's Magpies

Manny Parry, Seth Twumasi, and Alan Massey.

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Alan Devonshire has had a couple of weeks to forget after Maidenhead United failed to pick up points from either of their Easter bank holiday weekend fixtures against Weymouth and Eastleigh.

The Magpies were left bewildered at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Good Friday after the Terras came from behind to snatch a late 2-1 victory following a questionable red card for Manny Parry after what looked a firm but fair challenge on Pierre Fonkeu.

Then, on Monday afternoon, Ben Strevens’ Spitfires dealt Maidenhead's play-off hopes further damage when they scored late on at York Road after the Magpies had once again been reduced to 10 men.

Josh Coley will now serve a four-match suspension for his petulant kick out at Andrew Boyce.

“I can’t lie, all in all, it has been a very disappointing week,” said Devonshire. “On Friday, I believe the ref’s decisions cost us the game. The boys were comfortable, looking to kill the game off, and then Manny got sent off which was an absolute disgrace.

“They (Weymouth) scored a fluke goal in the 88th minute where the wind took the ball over Taye (Ashby-Hammond), and then they got a penalty in four-and-a-half minutes of added time.

“I have no idea where the ref got that from because the game wasn’t stopped in any way shape or form. I can’t knock the boys for that loss because without some of those decisions, we would’ve won. I think Manny’s red card was rescinded within five minutes of the FA looking at it.”

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Devonshire admitted Josh Coley’s red card cost Maidenhead United dearly as they fell to defeat against Eastleigh.

Having been largely in control of the second half, boss Devonshire was left hugely frustrated to see his team succumb to another late defeat after Coley’s sending off just past the hour mark.

The Magpies will now have to play four matches without their no.7, and with a growing injury list to boot, Devonshire will be required to shuffle his pack and rethink tactics if his men are to stay in touch with the play-off contenders.

“That Coley situation has hurt us,” he said. “We were just getting on top, looking okay, and we felt really in control of the game. Then, a stupid reaction has got him sent off and it’s cost us another game. We shot ourselves in the foot because if we had a full XI on the pitch, I think we would’ve won that game with ease.

“It was a rash decision by the kid and something he will have to learn from quickly.”

The Magpies boss is optimistic James Comley and Rohan Ince will be back to bolster the Maidenhead midfield from this weekend with both players having recently returned from international duty with Montserrat.

“They’ve been the main part of our midfield for a long time now,” said Devonshire. “They went on international duty and Rohan got injured unfortunately. Coms couldn’t play yesterday because he wasn’t fully fit, and probably wasn’t fit enough for Friday in hindsight.

“We didn’t want to take a risk with him against Eastleigh, so that’s why he didn’t play. I like to think they will both be back next week.”

Maidenhead have now lost three consecutive league games and, while Devonshire has never explicitly said his side were competing for the play-offs, he admits they have to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.

“I’ve never talked about play-offs. Other people have,” he said.

“We’re always about taking it one game at a time. If we could win four or five on the trot, which we would have to do now with 15 games to go, then we could look at it.

“But until then, we have to get as many points as we can.

“We’ve got Barnet next and then two tough away fixtures. It’s going to be a difficult week with a lot of travelling,” Devonshire added. “I’ll talk after that, and if we have a good week or bad week, it will probably let us know where we’ll be come the end of the season.”

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