Flood Gates open
Maidenhead suffered their heaviest defeat of their inaugural National League season, putting in a performance to forget at the Gateshead International Stadium. Following an enforced 2 week lay-off Maidenhead struggled to find their feet against a confident home side who had enjoyed a midweek home success over Leyton Orient to advance to the semi finals of the FA Trophy.
Alan Devonshire made two changes to the side which had competed so well with Macclesfield until the death last time out a full fortnight ago. Rene Steer was not risked having suffered concussion after a collision at the Moss Rose, Kilman taking his place in the side. Barratt was drafted in to the starting line up as Devonshire opted for a balanced 4-4-2.
Maidenhead started the game rather brightly. Clifton and Hyde linked well with the latter being denied by Montgomery in the home goal before Pritchard cut inside and drilled into the side netting. Thereafter the home side dominated long spells of this match. Peniket nodded a centre wide of the target when well placed and Johnson fired wide of the target before The Heed demonstrated their capability down the flanks in creating an elementary goal halfway through the first period. McLaughlin was allowed to put the ball across goal from the byline and Peniket tapped home with ease at the far post. Maidenhead however showed some spirit in equalising almost immediately. Pritchard turned Kilman's pass inside into the path of Hyde who was denied by Montgomery, Clifton kept the opportunity alive with his effort deflected as far as Pritchard who nodded across goal and Hyde was able to stoop and loop a header over the Gateshead 'keeper. Unfortunately parity did not last long as the home side were first to a right flank corner with Pentney unable to parry the danger any further than former Magpie Jamal Fyfield who finished with ease.
The remainder of the half was rather scrappy after that short burst of three goals in five minutes but Maidenhead made a better start to the second 45, enjoying by far their best period of the game with Barratt busy on the left flank, testing Montgomery from range before sending in a couple of teasing crosses which were begging to be bundled in. It was therefore rather against the run of the play when The Heed headed off the Maidenhead challenge with a third goal just before the hour mark. The goal was a well crafted one as Greenwood was played in on the left hand side of the Maidenhead box, he danced past Massey and squared for Johnson who could not miss. Devonshire responded by replacing Goodman with Reading loanee centre half Gabriel Osho who made his Maidenhead debut and must have wondered what he'd let himself in for as the Magpies rather capitulated in the final fifteen minutes of this match.
Johnson was able to bundle home a fourth as Maidenhead allowed the home side two touches inside the six yard box at a corner before the Tynesiders front man completed a simple hat-trick latching on to Kilman's underhit backpass. In between times Pentney had denied Peniket with a flying save following a freekick before the margin of defeat became truly emphatic in the closing stages with McLaughlin finishing a well-worked move involving Preston, Peniket and Johnson before the impressive Peniket and Fox worked a tap-in for Burrow.
The margin of defeat was Maidenhead's worst since an 8-1 humbling at Bognor Regis in the 2005/06 season. We will have a quick opportunity to put things right at Boreham Wood on Tuesday night but will require a vastly improved performance if we are to push the promotion chasers close.
MAGPIES: Pentney, Clerima, Massey, Goodman (Sub Osho 61), Steer; Pritchard, Upward (Sub Smith 80), Clifton, Kilman; Hyde, Barratt (Sub Owusu 65)
Subs: (not used) Emmanuel, Marks
Goal: Hyde (25)
TYNESIDERS: Montgomery, Kerr, Byrne (Sub Vassell 77), Fyfield; York (Sub Preston 68), Fox, Greenwood (Sub Burrow 73), McLaughlin, Barrow; Peniket, Johnson.
Subs: (not used) Hanford, McNall
Goals: Peniket (22), Fyfield (27), Johnson (59, 75, 79), McLaughlin (81), Burrow (90)