08:00PM, Wednesday 05 May 2021
Maidenhead United let slip a two-goal half-time advantage to draw 2-2 with Wrexham at York Road on Saturday but, while he was disappointed not to have taken all three points having been in such a strong position, manager Alan Devonshire was also proud of the performance of his players.
United once again stepped up their levels for a match against one of the league’s so-called big hitters and did so without several key players and with others playing out of position.
Afterwards he and the players were disappointed to have given up the two-goal lead handed to them by Sam Barratt’s sensational strike from inside his own half and James Comley’s individual goal, but they’d also shown great spirit to match one of the league’s in-form sides.
Ryheem Sheckleford, Jerry Wiltshire and Dan Sparkes, deputising at left-back for the injured George Wells, all acquitted themselves creditably, with Sheckleford a contender for man-of-the-match.
United also bossed the midfield skirmishes with Ryan Upward, Comley and Barratt all playing with confidence and creating chances for the front two, Josh Coley and Danilo Orsi-Dadomo.
The draw, and Saturday’s stalemate at King’s Lynn probably leaves them with too much to do in the coming weeks to make up the nine points to the side currently in seventh place, Bromley.
However, Devonshire says their performances this season have been consistently excellent, and he hopes to keep as many of this current crop together as possible to have another go next season.
“I’m proud of them because we were down to the bare bones today,” he said.
“They’re (Wrexham) a good side who’ve been beating everyone, but we’re disappointed with the draw because we felt we were the better side with the game’s better chances. But it is what it is, we’ll take a point and move on.
“I thought we started off poorly, then picked up and scored two very good goals.
“We could maybe have had a third, but I’m proud of them.
“We played Saturday and then today (Monday), had the journey to King’s Lynn followed by this lot who are a good side, so I’m really pleased.
“It is pleasing when you’ve got a few out who you’d normally have in the team. It was a hard shift out there and they’re disappointed, and I’m disappointed we didn’t get the three points we felt we deserved.”
With a little more luck with injuries and a less hectic schedule in recent weeks, Maidenhead may well have been in the running for a top seven finish.
It may still be within their grasp, but whatever happens between now and May 29, Devonshire can doff his cap to his squad and tell them ‘you’ve done alright’. They visit Hartlepool United on Saturday ahead of Tuesday evening’s visit of Notts County, two more of the league’s more aspirational clubs.
“The breaks here and there haven’t helped us at all, but I’m proud of them,” he said.
“When we’ve got three or four players out and we come up against a very good side like that, yeah I’m proud of them and it bodes well for the future.
“We’ve done alright all season.
“We’ve got Hartlepool United on Saturday and then Notts County so some tough games, but we’re looking forward to them.
“It will be tough to do what we’ve done this season again next year, but we’ll have a go. The players are giving me everything they’ve got so I can’t moan about that.
“Hartlepool are flying right now but we’ll go there and have a go.”
Billy Presbury, 21, of Moray Drive, and Kai Warwick, 19, of Whiteford Road, targeted a trio of teenage boys in Farnham Park on June 1, 2019.