Magpies have their fate against the Bees sealed swiftly in the second half

Reece Smith. Photo: Darren Woolley

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Perhaps the half-time team talk wasn’t listened to keenly enough or perhaps it’s just their luck at the moment, but Alan Devonshire’s men had their fate against Barnet sealed 10 minutes after the break on Saturday afternoon.

Maidenhead United had been down, 1-0, at the interval thanks to Rob Hall’s 31st-minute strike yet the game’s first half was very much even for chances according to boss Devonshire.

He and Ryan Peters gave the side some words of encouragement and enthusiasm at the break, but to the management staff’s incredulity, the Magpies conceded twice swiftly upon the restart.

Speaking to the club’s media officer, Grace Scott, Devonshire said: “I went in at half-time and said to them ‘let’s try and be patient, pass the ball a bit sharper, and make sure we don’t concede within 10 minutes'. They listened to me but we’re three down in 10 minutes.

“To be fair, the first half was even. I’ve got to look at the goal again, but I don’t know if Rhys (Lovett) could have done better from the distance – it was a good strike.

“We’re just struggling defensively at the moment as a group, and we’ve got to change it quickly.”

Devonshire revealed Remy Clerima was ‘one of the few’ Maidenhead United players who had caught COVID-19, forcing the postponements of last week’s National League fixtures.

Returning to the squad at the weekend, the French defender didn’t play up to his usual standards and this was attributed to his recent illness, by the Magpies boss.

“Remy was one of the boys that had it and since he’s come back, he doesn’t look right. He has held his hand up today and [admitted] he didn’t play great today. But he has had this COVID, and he is suffering from it.

“Ryheem (Sheckleford) is not fit at the moment, so it was needs must [for Remy to play] really.

“There’s a few boys that have had it and in the coming weeks, it’s something I’ve got to look at.

Devonshire added: “Listen, we’ve got another game coming up and that’s one good [thing] about this league – you’re playing games all the time.

“We’ve got a long way to go and we’re not going to panic with things. I will set a side out for Tuesday and then we will go again.”

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