10:05AM, Wednesday 24 February 2021
Photo Credit: Darren Woolley
Maidenhead United 2, Aldershot Town 4
A Josh Rees hat-trick condemned Maidenhead United to a frustrating home defeat on Tuesday evening in a game that had a little bit of everything.
Although the scoreline made it look like a comfortable night’s work for the Shots, the Magpies were in contention for a result as they trailed by just the one goal to their 10-man visitors for the majority of the second half.
Danny Searle’s men had put themselves in a 3-1 ascendancy at the break, courtesy of Rees’ brace and Ricky Miller’s early finish, with Danilo Orsi-Dadomo providing Maidenhead with their solitary goal just before half time.
A second for the United striker five minutes after the interval, however, put the team on course for a comeback and in another dramatic turn of events, Aldershot’s Killian Colombie saw red for a careless challenge on Josh Coley giving United the impetus to push on and fight for a share of the spoils.
But, with their backs against the wall for the game’s final 30 minutes, the Shots punctured any chance of a Magpies turnaround deep into injury time as Rees sealed his hat-trick on the counter, to wrap up the win and give the scoreline a more flattering complexion.
In their previous encounter this season, Maidenhead drew 0-0 with Aldershot, and were optimistic for a win this time around having not tasted victory since the end of January. But, akin to the first half display they had delivered against Bromley on Saturday, the Magpies were once again punished for a poor start and allowed the Shots to score three inside 40 minutes.
Their first came from slick build up play with Chike Kandi threading a well weighted pass into Miller’s feet for the forward to slide the ball past the oncoming Taye Ashby-Hammond inside five minutes.
United thought they had found a swift equaliser when Nathan Blissett bundled the ball home in the 12th minute from Coley’s corner kick, but the goal was ruled out for a foul committed in the set piece’s build up.
Coley posed a danger with a sharp half-volley next after he was picked out on the left flank from James Comley’s cross-field pass but Shots ‘keeper Mitch Walker had the winger’s attempt well smothered at the near post.
It was Aldershot who ultimately scored next after Rees’ low driven strike whistled past Ashby-Hammond and into the bottom corner in the 26th minute. It was a controversial goal, given that Maidenhead's skipper Alan Massey was fouled in the process as he tried to suppress the visitors’ attack, but one that stood to extend their lead to 2-0.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when Rees tapped in his second of the game, and the Shots’ third, 15 minutes later following a defensive mix-up in the Magpies backline.
Maidenhead managed to pull a goal back moments before half time as Orsi-Dadomo controlled and calmly dinked a lofted ball over Walker to give his side hope heading into the break.
The number 10 began the second half as he concluded the first and bagged his brace early into the restart from George Wells’ free kick. After the defender’s attempt cannoned back off the woodwork, Orsi-Dadomo made sure he was first to the rebound to make it 3-2.
Aldershot looked to restore their two-goal cushion almost immediately after as Miller jinked his way into the Magpies’ area before being brought down. The subsequent penalty appeals, however, were waved away and the visitors continued to press with hopes of extending their advantage thereafter.
The game took a dramatic twist when Searle’s men were reduced to 10 after Colombie was given his marching orders, having already been on a yellow, in the 72nd minute for bringing down Coley on the edge of the box.
With the intention of exploiting the Shots’ weakness, boss Devonshire turned to his bench and brought on Josh Kelly on for Comley.
The hosts applied great pressure on their visitors' defence in the game’s closing stages but Rees was able to secure the victory after picking up the ball from Alfy Whittingham and drilling a shot past Ashby-Hammond within the five minutes of added time.
The victory lifts Aldershot above Maidenhead in the National League and into the top half of the table while Devonshire’s men slip down into 11th.
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