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Maidenhead United drop into the bottom four after defeat against bottom-club Dover Athletic

Neil Maskell

James Akintunde is foiled by Dover’s keeper. Photo: Mick Vogel

 

By Neil Maskell

 

Dover Athletic 2, Maidenhead United 0

Maidenhead United slipped into the bottom four after surrendering to what was an ultimately comfortable victory for a Dover Athletic side that had not won in 14 league matches.

Alan Devonshire reshuffled his pack for the Magpies trip to the Crabble, recalling Ryan Bird to the starting line up against his old club, while James Akintunde also started as Nana Owusu and Herson Alves reverted to the substitute’s bench. Carl Pentney’s suspension also saw Nick Hamann brought in to make his Magpies’ debut.

Despite their recent run of defeats, United started brightly, with Akintunde crowded out when well positioned in the opening minute before shooting wide in the 10th minute after skilfully spinning his marker. In between times Taylor fired over for the Whites and Hamann smothered well to keeper out Passley after the player had been sent through on goal.

The teams continued to trade chances with Taylor heading wide of the upright and Ayo Obileye forcing a save from Walker from Harold Odametey’s cross.

The clearest of Maidenhead’s chances fell to Akintunde, who found himself one-on-one with Walker just after the half-hour but the Dover keeper was able to block and the visitors were made to rue that miss two minutes later. Lokko wasn’t picked up from a Brundle free-kick and he was able to head past Hamann to make it 1-0 after 36 minutes.

United were then indebted to Hamann before the break when he clawed away another header, this time from Diarra.

The Magpies picked up the tempo in the early stages of the second half, with Adrian Clifton forcing an instinctive save from Walker from one of a series of corners. But, as so often of late, the Magpies’ final ball was found wanting and Dover went on to create the better of the chances. Allen headed a Passley cross over the top before Hamann denied Effiong following a slip from Rene Steer.

Dover clinched their first three points in 14 attempts with 15 minutes to play, when Jai Reason clipped a delightful effort over Hamann’s dive from the edge of the area.

Josh Kelly, who’d been introduced as a second half substitute, crashed an effort against Walker’s near post in the final 10 minutes but, with the Magpies pressing forward, Debayo and Reason passed up clear opportunities for Dover to extend their advantage.

 

MAGPIES: Hamann, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Obileye, Comley, Bird (sub Alves 84), Clifton, Akintunde (sub Kelly 64), Massey, Mulley (sub Owusu 76).

Subs not used: Cole, Upward.

WHITES: Walker, Passley, Diarra, Lokko, Brundle, Allen (sub Reason 68), Effiong, Adebowale (sub Huckle 77), Lewis, Debayo (sub Nortey 84), Taylor.

Subs not used: Daniel, Worgan.

GOALS: Lokko (37), Reason (74).

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