Five Star Magpies sign off debut National League season in style
Barratt brace and goals from Smith, Owusu and Marks seal empahtic win
Maidenhead made it five wins from their final six league games with a 5-2 win over play-off hopefuls Bromley. It took just 3 minutes to open the scoring, Owusu planting an excellent cross on his wing partner Barratt’s head at the back post to make it 1-0. Just 90 seconds later it was 2-0. Owusu’s effort was pushed round the post for a corner, the resulting corner from Barratt was fumbled by Gregory under pressure from Marks for Smith to tap in. 2-0. Smith, who had completed the London Marathon just 6 days ago would go on to have a fine game and complete the full 90 minutes!
The goals injected even more confidence to a buoyed Magpies side, with Barratt and Comley trying speculative efforts from the half way line, which both whistled off target.
Bromley needed a win to have a chance of getting into the play offs and were winning free kicks in dangerous areas outside the Maidenhead box. A mixture of poor deliveries and good Maidenhead defending helped prevent any real chances on goal. With Bromley piling forward Maidenhead almost caught them cold in the 19th minute. Barratt pinched the ball on the left touchline and drove forwards, squaring to Marks who under pressure saw his shot blocked. After a sequence of crosses back into the box Bromley eventually cleared.
Maidenhead were made to pay for this missed chance in the 22nd minute as Bromley grabbed a lifeline. Porter on the left corner of the Maidenhead box rifled in a powerful low effort which took a deflection over the diving Pentney. 2-1.
The deficit was reduced for only 10 minutes, as in the 32nd minute Owusu got the goal his first half performance had merited. Latching on to the ball in the centre of the pitch he unleashed an unstoppable effort from 22 yards into the bottom left corner. 3-1.
Bromley reacted to this by hooking off right back Dunne for the attacking Hanlan. This change was almost rewarded as Bromley came close again after 39 minutes. How many times Massey has been in the right place to clear off the line all year round and he stood firm again to clear from Rees close range effort in the last goalmouth action of the first half.
The second half started in almost identical fashion to the first, Barratt grabbing a goal this time 4 minutes into the half. Comley kept his composure on the edge of the D to square to Barratt who finished confidently past Gregory. 4-1. Maidenhead were very much on top with Clerima and Owusu both bringing fingertip stops from Gregory before the hour mark. With 61 played Sean Marks got in on the act with a goal of his own. Barratt curling in an early cross from the right which Sean cushioned into the far corner. 5-1.
A few guilt-edged chances were then missed with 66 played as Maidenhead threatened to run riot, Marks’ header was tipped wide by Gregory. Smith’s header from very close range from the resulting corner bounced into the ground and over the bar, Smith slamming the ground in frustration.
The introduction of Dennis certainly gave Maidenhead’s defence something to think about and with ¾ of the game gone he created Bromley’s second goal of the game. Crossing low from the left and Bugiel converting below Pentney.
Barratt on a hat-trick was still roaring forward down the left flank but was denied by the palms of Gregory from a tight angle on 77 minutes.
Dennis nearly got himself on the scoresheet for Bromley after 86 minutes. His curling free kick hit from 20 yards coming back off the post and Porter failing to convert the rebound.
Another goal for Maidenhead would have restored goal difference back to 0 and it so nearly came in injury time from an unlikely source. A flowing team move involving Odametey, Pritchard and Comley resulted in Steer curling a few yards over Gregory’s crossbar.
The referee then called a close to what was a thrilling finale at York Road with the final score Maidenhead 5 – 2 Bromley.
Maidenhead end the season with a top half finish and fantastic haul of 64 points, sitting top of the 6 match form table! The season ending with the Magpies in red hot form.
Pentney, Clerima (Goodman, 69), Steer, Odametey, Massey (C), Comley, Marks (Clifton, 87), Barratt, Owusu (Pritchard, 78), Kilman, Smith.
Unused subs: Emmanuel, Peters
Gregory, Dunne, Rees, Holland (C), Raymond, Mekki, Higgs, Sterling, Porter, R.Johnson, Bugiel
Subs: Chorley, Hanlan, Dennis, D.Johnson, Sutherland.