05:27PM, Saturday 08 September 2018
Maidenhead United FC, York Road, Maidenhead.Maidenhead United v Wrexham
Photo of Harold Odametey against Wrexham.
Barnet 1, Maidenhead United 0
Josh Walker's third minute strike proved the difference between the sides as Barnet brought Maidenhead United's four-match unbeaten run to an end.
The Magpies, who were delayed en route to The Hive due to traffic problems, will be disappointed with the way they defended the opener, with Walker able to wriggle free on the far side of the pitch before beating Carl Pentney with a shot that arrowed into the net.
Byron Harrison should have sealed the result for Barnet with six minutes to play, but sent his penalty kick over the bar.
The Magpies will feel they might have got something from this, with Josh Kelly denied what looked a blatant penalty in the first half and substitute Max Worsfold going close with a volley in the second.
But they'll play plenty of teams worse than this Bees side who showed their professional edge over the 90 minutes and stood up well to United's lively second half intent.
The visitors' sluggish start may have proved more costly, had the swarming Bees attack taken another of their chances. Charlee Adams sent a rising volley over from the edge of the box in the fifth minute, and Pentney was called into action again in the ninth minute to keep out Wesley Fonguck's low shot with his legs.
At length, the Magpies warmed to their task with Harold Odametey, driving the Magpies forward from midfield at every opportunity, tested Mark Cousins with fizzing low effort. Nana Owusu, who also looked a threat for the Magpies down the right hand side, then tried his luck with a long range free-kick but Cousins got his body behind the well-struck effort on 17 minutes.
Magpies manager Alan Devonshire felt his side should have had a penalty in the 19th minute when Josh Kelly, looking to score his fourth goal in three matches, appeared to be hauled down in the penalty area. Referee Josh Smith, who had an obscured view of the incident, waved play on much to the Magpies' frustration.
They have had better luck from a series of free-kicks won on both flanks, but in general the visitors' delivery was poor in the first half and potential chances to sting the Bees back went begging.
Barnet came close to a second five minutes before the break when the previously well shackeled Byron Harrison found himself in some space and threaded a lovely ball through to Taylor, whose toe-poked shot tricked inches wide of Pentney's right hand post with the keeper well beaten.
The hosts made the quicker start in the second half as well, with Taylor stinging Pentney's palms with a drive after a flowing Barnet move in the 53rd minute. Cheye Alexander also had a chance, putting the ball way over the bar at the far post after Walker had nicked the ball off the toes of Ayo Obileye.
Maidenhead broke well at times in the second half but too often there was no end product. In the 65th minute Kelly released Worsfold down the left and his low cross was begging to be turned home, but there was no one in purple looking to get the touch. Their best chance of the half came 15 minutes from time when Worsfold got on the end of Kelly's cross from the right but Cousins was equal to his volley.
Barnet should have wrapped up the points when substitute Nana Kyei was brought down in the box for a penalty, but Harrison clipped the crossbar with his spot kick as it flew over.
The Magpies mounted some late pressure but were well held off by a solid Barnet defence.
Magpies man of the match: Harold Odametey.
Maidenhead United: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Obileye, Kelly, Upward, Owusu (Worsfold 59'), Massey, Mulley (Alves 59'), Archer (Akintunde 66').
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