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Maidenhead United slump to bogey side Gateshead in opening National League contest

Maidenhead United (0) 1, Gateshead (1) 3

Two goals in the first eight minutes of the second half ultimately delivered an emphatic victory for visitors Gateshead, maintaining the vice-like grip they have on results between the two teams.

The Heed crushed the Magpies 3-0 at York Road in November following it up four months later with a 7-1 demolition job at home.

Steve Watson’s men were equally as clinical in this contest, making the most of their opportunities even though the teams were well matched in the first half period.

There was little to separate the teams at the break apart from Greg Olley’s sensational effort on 16 minutes.

From a corner, Harold Odametey’s diving header seemed to have cleared the danger for the Magpies, however Olley, on the edge of the area, artfully lobbed keeper Carl Pentney to open the scoring.

It came shortly after Luke Armstrong had broke free to go one on one with Pentney, although this time the Magpies’ No.1 saved well to his right.

Alan Devonshire’s Magpies showed some uncertainty at the back, but going forward, especially down the left flank through Max Worsfold, they provided a real threat.

Odametey had the hosts’ first chance, which keeper Aynsley Pears smothered, and Josh Kelly flicked the ball goalwards in the area, only for the hand of Fraser Kerr to block the ball, and appeals for a penalty to be ignored by the referee.

The Heed took control of proceedings quickly after the break, underlining their threat in the last third of the pitch.

It was 2-0 on 47 minutes when a corner delivered to the far post was eventually scrambled in from close range by Scott Boden.

Two corners, two goals for the visitors.

On 53 minutes the points were effectively wrapped up when the predatory Armstrong pinched the ball off centre back Ayo Obileye, as he tried to create some space for himself, before running in 20 yards to slot the ball under the advancing Pentney.

The Magpies showed some desire to make a mark and would have reduced the deficit had Pears not pulled off an excellent one-handed save from Kelly when 10 yards out.

Bird also rose well to a Max Kilman cross but couldn’t direct his header down.

They finally broke their duck in the second minute of time added-on when, from a Dave Comley corner – their seventh – the ball rebounded off the backside of Kerr and into his own net.

It was the only misfortune of the match for the Heed who moved the ball around well, were confident in defence and lethal in front of goal.

This was not a desperately poor performance from the Magpies, but it’s not one they will not want to replicate any time soon.

Maidenhead United (4-4-2): Pentney; Clerima, Massey, Obileye; Kilman; Mulley (Clifton 65), Odametey, Comley, Worsfold (Alves 71), Bird, Kelly (Owusu 65). Subs not used: Steer, Smith.

Gateshead (3-5-2): Pears; Kerr, Tinkler, Mellish; Thomson, Olley, O’Donnell, White (Maloney 65), Forbes (Hunter, 80); Boden (Salkeld, 90), Armstrong. Subs not used: Foden, Devitt.

Attendance: 1,264

Entertainment: 3/5
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