Onwards and Cupwards
Magpies 2-1 Hawks
Maidenhead left it late as they progressed into the Emirates FA Cup 1st round following a first half goal from Barratt and a 91st minute Ryan Upward winner.
The Magpies were pushed all the way by a tireless Havant & Waterlooville side, who had cancelled out Barratt’s first-half strike through Prior’s volley.
Losing just one of their first seven away games the Hawks started brightly albeit without testing Pentney as Maidenhead were dealt a blow with a quarter of an hour gone, with James Comley limping off to be replaced by Smith.
Smith, just a few minutes after coming on had the first chance of the match as a 20-yard free-kick was deflected wide of Young’s near post. Barratt who had been clattered in the chin just minutes before then sparked the game into life. With 23 minutes on the clock he picked up the ball from 30-yards out, cutely turned his man who fouled him. Barratt, however had other ideas as he got back to his feet with the referee playing advantage, strode forward and unleashed a powerful left-foot drive that seemed to take a nick off Clifton before finding the corner to make it 1-0.
There was almost an instant response for the visitors and it took the very best of Carl Pentney who produced a phenomenal point blank stop to prevent a certain Lewis header hitting the back of the net to a round of applause from the entire ground. There was then another golden chance for the Hawks to equalise, as a free kick found its way into the Maidenhead 6-yard box and a low effort was cleared off the line.
Weathering these chances, Maidenhead finished the half strongly – playing on the counter attack and finding gaps in the visitor’s back 3. Young was alert to come off his line and close down Barratt in a promising situation, while Barratt and Smith saw left foot pile drivers go high over the bar.
Four minutes into the second half Havant levelled. A corner sailed to the back post and was volleyed goalwards by Rose which Kilman cleared off the line, United failed though to fully clear and the ball fell invitingly to Prior who finished with aplomb at the near post.
The goal sparked an instant reaction from the Magpies and they should’ve retaken the lead but Barratt rushed his lob when through on goal. Momentum was building and Clifton nodded a few yards wide, Odametey then came even closer smashing off the crossbar from an acute angle.
The last 25 minutes saw both teams struggle to assert their authority in the game, with the ball spending a large portion in the air. One chance and one goal would be all that mattered and it would come in the form of a tireless Ryan Upward. With 91 played Upward found some extra gas in the tank to gamble on Hyde winning a flick which the sub managed to do, Upward steamed through and smashed across goal into the net and sparking jubilant scenes in the Bell Street End.
The draw will take place on Monday evening where Maidenhead will be ball number 69 and the chance of playing the likes of Blackburn, Charlton and Portsmouth! It’s the 5th time in the last 12 years Maidenhead have progressed to the First Round.
Magpies: Pentney, Clerima, Odametey, Masset, Inman, Comley (Smith, 16), Barratt (Hyde, 72), Clifton, Upward, Kilman
Unused subs: Steer, McKenzie, Peters, Goodman
Havant & Waterlooville
Young, Williams, Woodford, Harris, Fogden, Lewis, Prior, Tarbuck, Carter, Robinson, Rose
Subs: Strugnell, Rutherford, Walker-Harris, Molyneaux, Hayter, Barker