06:00PM, Saturday 07 May 2022
Grimsby Town 1, Maidenhead United 3
Grimsby Town's Luke Waterfall had an afternoon to forget as his blunders handed Maidenhead United the initiative to go on and claim all three points at Blundell Park.
The Mariners came into the game looking to cement a play-off spot with one game still to play but the Magpies spoiled the party with an impressive 3-1 win which extends their unbeaten run in the National League to seven matches.
This is one of their longest away trips of the season but those fans who travelled north - most clad in fancy dress - will feel their efforts were worthwhile after the club clinched one of their best results of the campaign.
United have made a habit of upsetting the league's promotion chasers this season and, in their own small way, have had a say on how the top seven will finish up.
Contenders Bromley, Chesterfield, Wrexham, FC Halifax Town, Boreham Wood and now Grimsby have all tasted defeat at the hands of Alan Devonshire's men, with fifth placed Notts County - who are assured of a top seven spot - still to come to York Road on the final day of the season (Sunday, May 15).
This game unravelled for the home side midway through the first half. First, in the 25th minute Waterfall touched a Magpies' cross into his own net after confusion between himself and keeper Max Crocombe.
Then, just two minutes later, Waterfall was sent off for a professional foul as he conceded the penalty from which Maidenhead made it 2-0. Sam Barratt stepped up to hammer the visitors two goals to the good, his second goal in three matches after his stunning volley last weekend in the draw at Torquay United.
Grimsby had some chances to reduce the deficit before half-time, but United's defence held firm. Shaun Pearson's header was deflected inches wide of Dan Gyollai's goal in the 34th minute before Harry Clifton got his angles all wrong as he headed Abrahams cross off target when well positioned.
A huge crowd of 6,383 roared the home side on in the second half and the 10 men came close to pegging United back in the 50th minute, when Gavan Holohan thread a pass through to Tristan Abrahams, but Gyollai did well to keep out his effort, which looked destined for the far corner.
The game got a little heated midway through the half, with Shaun Donellan and Barratt both cautioned by the referee, but against the run of play the Magpies made it 3-0 in the 68th minute.
Ryan Upward has been disappointed by his goals return this season but he'll be happy enough with this effort, which pretty much put the seal on victory with quarter of the game to play.
Abrahams managed to get his name on the score sheet in the 75th minute, slotting home a penalty which he won after being hauled down in the area, but that's as good as it got for the Mariners on a disappointing afternoon for the hosts. They have two games left to secure their play-off spot, at home to Boreham Wood on Tuesday and away to Eastleigh on the final day.
United meanwhile have found the kind of consistency they've been craving all season. Had they not been blighted by injuries and found this sort of form sooner they themselves might have put themselves in the play-off picture. As it is they'll have to be content with the fact they've wrapped up a mid-table finish with relatively little fret or anxiety. They sit 16th in the table ahead of next Sunday's final game against Notts County and could still catch 15th placed Woking if results go their way.
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.