Four game unbeaten run comes to end
Early Bonne header for O’s settles sweltering Bank Holiday clash
Maidenhead fell to just a second defeat of the season, edged by Leyton Orient at York Road in front of 2544 fans.
Devonshire wrung the changes in light of the game and gruelling journeys to and from Barrow two days before. In total eight changes were made. Clerima, Inman, Steer, Upward, Comley, Pritchard, Marks and Tarpey all returned to the starting XI.
In temperatures nearing 30 degrees, Maidenhead made a sluggish start and were duly punished by an Orient side buoyed by their 97th minute goal on Saturday to earn a late point. Dayton’s trickery down the right created space and his cross was met by Bonne who guided his header past Pentney.
Orient were looking the more comfortable on the ball and dominating possession, albeit without creating any significant chances in the first half. A drinks break midway through the half went someway to help the Magpies reset and Pritchard’s cross almost found the back of the net for a second straight home game. Tarpey’s 30-yard free-kick was easily saved on the half-hour mark, before Sean Marks robbed Elokobi but saw his near-post effort saved as Maidenhead went into the break with some momentum.
It was Orient who started the second period sharply, as they did with the first. A super team move saw the ball fed to Koroma with Pentney doing well to put a lid on it.
Another chance then went begging for the visitors, this time goal scorer Bonne curled wide from a favourable position when he looked set to get his second.
This missed chance seemed to give the Magpies belief as Comley fired narrowly over and Marks was denied from close range by Grainger after pinball in the O’s box.
The final 20 minutes was a terrific advert for the National League with Maidenhead desperate for an equaliser and Orient eager to kill the game off, as the game went end to end.
Tarpey failed to make a clean connection on his effort when getting rare space in the O’s box while ex-Premier League defender Elokobi showed all of his experience to handle a plethora of dangerous Magpies crosses.
With 10 to go Orient countered from a Magpies corner and Pentney took down Bonne, however the covering Magpies backline ensured it was only a yellow. McAnuff then hit the wall with the resulting free-kick.
A late barrage of Maidenhead throws and crosses was causing all sorts of danger, with sub Barratt heading wide and then coming even closer from 50-yards as he tried to catch Grainger off his line.
Orient sub Mooney could’ve wrapped things up on two occasions, first hitting straight at Pentney and then failing to make contact with Bonne’s ball across goal.
This gave Maidenhead one final chance and they came so close. Tarpey had two bites of the cherry but saw his goal bound efforts blocked by Elokobi and Coulson, heroic defending to shut out the Magpies and meaning that United failed to score for the first time in 17 league matches.
Maidenhead can be immensely proud in the way they fought until the end and were so nearly rewarded with a late point. 2 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses in the month of August makes for a decent start to the season, surprising many and being firmly in every game they’ve played.
Next up is a trip to table-topping Sutton United.
Pentney, Clerima, Massey ©, Inman (Goodman, 56), Steer (Barratt, 80), Odametey, Comley, Upward (Clifton, 65), Pritchard, Marks, Tarpey
Unused subs: Smith, Mulley
BOOKED: Massey (42), Clifton (66), Pentney (81)
Grainger, Caprice, Widdowson, Lawless, Elokobi ©, Bonne, Boco (Ochieng, 75), Coulson, Koroma (McAnuff, 64) Clay, Dayton (Mooney, 64)
Unused subs: Sendles-White, Sargeant
BOOKED: Clay (32), Coulson (63), Bonne (73)