Magpies downed by table-topping Salford
First home defeat in five matches
Maidenhead fell to their first loss in five home games after a 3-0 defeat against table toppers Salford City. Two goals in three first-half minutes from the in-form Ammies gave United a mountain to climb before a 90th minute Rodney strike made it 3-0.
Devonshire named Smith at centre back for the injured skipper Massey, while Kelly and Clifton also returned to the starting eleven. Worsfold slotted in at left back with Alves on the left wing in front of him and Odametey on the right side of midfield.
Salford, on a run of 5 straight National League wins, started strongly and Lloyd was the first to try his luck as his 20-yard effort whistled past the post after 5 minutes. With 9 on the clock they really should have been ahead as Gaffney missed a guilt-edged chance, opting to chest rather than head from close quarters and somehow knocking wide. The chances continued to come for the visitors and on 13 minutes Rooney hit the crossbar after stabbing a toe at a right wing cross.
After surviving these chances Maidenhead finally worked an opportunity of their own in the 18th minute. Alves weaved down the left and his cross was only half cleared. Waiting at the edge of the area was Comley who struck a powerful low effort on goal that was deflected wide for a corner.
Salford finally struck in the 24th minute. Right back Wiseman marauded up field and latched onto a loose ball to slot under Pentney at the near post. 0-1. Less than two minutes later Salford doubled their lead, Rooney who has scored the most goals from open play in the National League so far, finished a Lloyd cross clinically over Pentney. 0-2.
Devonshire reacted to the quick goals with a double change, bringing on Cole and Akintunde for Alves and Comley. The move saw Odametey switch to the centre and Worsfold pushed up to left midfield with Cole behind him, Akintunde moved to the right of midfield. The move brought about more stability for the Magpies who would end the half on top. In the 37th minute huge cries of handball were ignored by the referee and then moments later Worsfold had a shot well saved by Neal before seeing the follow up blocked.
Maidenhead needed the next goal to be in with a shout and were aggressive to start the second period, winning a series of corners. The huffing and puffing showed the strength of the Salford defenders who kept their discipline and shape well to prevent any clear chances, summed up in an excellent tackle by Pond after Kelly found space in the 61st minute. United were also forced into their third and final change as Upward was replaced by Owusu.
Salford reacted to the pressure with a chance of their own, sacrificing attacking winger Lloyd for the hulking figure of Maynard who would sit in front of the centre backs to protect and mop up.
There was nearly a lifeline for Maidenhead with 70 on the clock. The lively Akintunde beat his man down the right and pulled back to Kelly who took a touch onto his left foot before firing over.
Salford made another two with a quarter of an hour to go and the fresh legs in the game seemed to put an end to Maidenhead’s chances as the weary home legs from two long away trips seemed to finally take its toll on the team.
Gaffney slashed across the face of goal and just wide with 83 minutes played but then turned provider for the final goal of the game in the 90th minute. His cushion to sub Rodney took an almighty hit of Pentney as it bounced into the net to sum up Maidenhead’s afternoon. 0-3.
It was almost 4 as Whitehead hit the base of the post from 20 yards in the closing stages as the clock ticked down to finish Maidenhead 0 – 3 Salford.
Pentney, Clerima, Obileye, Smith, Worsfold, Comley (Cole, 29), Upward (Owusu, 57), Odametey, Alves (Akintunde, 29), Clifton, Kelly
Unused subs: Archer, Bird
Neal, Wiseman, Pond, Piergianni, Touray, Walker (Hogan, 71), Whitehead, Shelton, Lloyd (Maynard, 62), Rooney (Rodney, 71), Gaffney
Unused subs: Crocombe, Haughton