01:55PM, Saturday 04 April 2020
This week’s trawl through the Maidenhead Advertiser throws up a pre Christmas cracker at York Road in 2016.
The Magpies were anticipating a tough test of their title/promotion hopes against an inform Datford side who didn’t concede many goals and weren't that far behind them in the National League South table.
It was a day when manager Alan Devonshire would have taken a 1-0 win, but instead he, and the rest of those lucky enough to be in the ground that day, saw a virtuoso display from striker Dave Tarpey, backed up by an excellent team display.
If there had been any doubts over Maidenhead’s ability to stay the course at the top of the table that season they were banished on that cold, foggy afternoon.
Tarpey’s four-goal display will go down as one of the best by a Maidenhead player in recent history, and it included a goal so special it went viral around the world and led to Tarps being invited onto Sky Sports Soccer AM. This reporter seriously underplayed it in his post match report, but hindsight, or should that be highlights, is a wonderful thing.
Jordan Cox also got his name on the scoresheet, and dovetailed brilliantly with Tarpey after his regular strike partner Sean Marks had been injured in the opening minutes.
A special mention should also go to the crunching tackle from Christian Smith which led to Tarpey’s first goal and set the tone for an excellent afternoon.
Maidenhead United 5, Dartford 0
Maidenhead United’s fans sung ‘we’re gonna win the league’ after Dave Tarpey struck down promotion rivals Dartford with a clinical finishing master-class.
Not content with his scoring exploits so far this season the striker added another four to take his league tally to 26 before the final whistle was blown.
From one to 11 United were hungrier than their rivals and stamped their authority over the match from the opening whistle. Dartford arrived at York Road on a high after their FA Trophy replay triumph over National League Dover Athletic on Tuesday night but they couldn’t cope with the intensity of the Magpies.
This was illustrated by the Magpies’ opener, scored by Tarpey who lifted a delightful chip over Deren Ibrahim in the 22nd minute. But it was the desire of Christian Smith to win the ball in midfield and the lovely threaded pass from substitute Jordan Cox that created it.
United’s second goal on 30 minutes was all about Tarpey. Receiving the ball with is back to goal in the he back heeled it over his marker and raced through to steer the ball beyond Ibrahim. A third goal followed in first half injury time when Cox’s snap shot was parried by Ibrahim and Tarpey swept home the rebound.
Dartford started the second half strongly and the imposing figure of Duane Ofori-Archeampong looped a header over the bar in the 48th minute before steering a low shot just past Carl Pentney’s left hand post a few minutes later. However, any hopes of a comeback were undone when Tom Wynter’s late challenge on Pentney saw him sent off in the 55th minute.
United were back on the goal trail four minutes later when Cox headed home Tarpey’s peach of a free kick from close range and Tarpey wrapped up the 5-0 win with a penalty in the 88th minute, drilling the ball beyond Ibrahim after he was tripped in the box by the keeper.
With first choice centre midfield pairing James Comley and Ryan Upward both suspended, and November's player of the month Sean Marks going off in the 13th minute with a head injury, this was a day for the understudies as Smith, Kieron Forbes and Cox all played well to give manager Alan Devonshire a selection headache for the Boxing Day clash at Weladstone.
Surprisingly, given the scoreline, the game was pretty even in the first 20 minutes. Pentney punched a Ryan Hayes' corner clear from underneath his crossbar before Luke Wanadio was denied by a brilliant stop from Pentney in the 18th minute.
It was the first and last time Dartford threatened the home side's chances of taking all three points such was the dominance of their defending thereafter.
Tarpey said afterwards: “I love scoring but the performance was excellent. Dartford have been flying so we knew they were going to be solid.
“I think we surprised them and got a few early goals and took off. We had a break last week and I think that obviously helped us. They had a couple of hard games, Saturday and Tuesday, so we were fresh and we shocked them how quickly we came out of the blocks.”
The shellshocked Dartford manager Tony Burman added: “First I thought we played ok. There were some decisions and turning points in the whole game, that went against us.
“That happens sometimes. We could possibly have been 1-0 up but for a great save from their keeper and then we’ve come up against a real good striker who has a lot of quality about him.”
Maidenhead United (4-4-2): Pentney 8, Clerima 9 (Peters 79’), Steer 8, Smith 9, Massey © 9, Inman 9, Tarpey 10, Forbes 8, Marks 6 (Cox 14’, Wiltshire 73’), Mulley 8, Pritchard 8.
Subs not used: Hammond, Wassmer.
Dartford: Ibrahim 5, Harris 5, Wynter 4, Vint 5, Wood 5, A Brown 5(Dembele 73’), Hayes 6 (Gardiner 55’), Bradbrook 5, Ofori-Archeampong 7, Noble 6, Wanadio 6 (E Brown 68’).
Subs not used: Pugh, Coxall
Referee: Ian Rathbone (7-10)
Highlights uploaded to Youtube by FC Video.
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