08:21PM, Saturday 16 November 2019
Maidenhead United vs Solihull Moors.York Road, Maidenhead
Ryan Upward skippered the Magpies in Alan Massey's absence.
Boreham Wood 2, Maidenhead United 1
Maidenhead United conceded a sloppy late goal to ensure their committed and resilient display at Meadow Park on Saturday counted for nothing.
With their makeshift defence, missing the suspended Alan Massey, coming under the cosh from a lively Boreham Wood side, United had done well to hang on. And they looked to be on the verge of claiming a point, when substitute Ibra Sekajja slotted home a penalty to cancel out Kabongo Tshimanga’s 72nd minute opener for The Wood.
But, in a bizarre final few minutes, The Wood were awarded, and missed a penalty, when Chris Dunn saved Tyrone Marsh’s spotkick, before Justin Shaibu flicked home Kieron Murtagh’s corner kick with only three minutes to play.
The magnificent Joe Ellul was sent off conceding the penalty after the referee judged him to have handled Kane Smith’s goalbound effort. It means he’ll now miss United’s tea-time home game against Woking this Saturday, leaving the Magpies without a recognised centre half for the game.
United started this game slowly, and could easily have found themselves behind but for some fine stops from keeper Chris Dunn. He saved instinctively from Shaibu’s volley after only four minutes, before getting a hand to Tshimanga’s lobbed effort, after the striker broke the Magpies offside trap to go through on goal a few minutes later.
United improved as the half wore on, and striker Jake Cassidy – fresh from his scoring exploits against Rotherham United – had a couple of volleyed attempts which flashed narrowly wide. The second of which, from Ryheem Sheckleford’s low cross had the Meadow Park faithful holding their breath.
But Boreham continued to carve out the better chances, with Smith rattling the crossbar with a shot from the right edge of the area midway through the half.
The two teams traded chances at the start of the second half, with Josh Kelly very nearly squeezing a low shot past Nathan Ashmore – so often Maidenhead’s nemesis between the sticks. Shaibu came close to the opener a few minutes later when he slalomed through the United backline but saw his shot blocked behind for a corner.
Maidenhead might have nicked the lead in the 67th minute, when Josh Smile’s corner fell kindly for Sheckleford, but Boreham’s players were out quickly to block.
Within minutes United fell behind when Murtagh escaped the attention of Ellul on the right touchline and whipped in a cross for Shaibu, who showed plenty of composure to roll a cute pass into the path of Tshimanga, who tucked the ball beyond Dunn.
What followed was an excellent advert for National League football, with United clawing their way back into the game from the penalty spot in the 81st minute, Sekajja winning the spotkick and beating Ashmore low to his left.
There was disbelief on the Magpies bench when the referee pointed to the spot after Ellul charged down Smith’s goalbound shot in the 85th minute – the player receiving a second yellow card for handball. It looked a very soft decision and justice was done when Dunn saved Marsh’s penalty. However, down to 10 men and missing the leadership of Ellul, United conceded 60 seconds later, Murtagh’s corner bouncing off the hip of Shaibu before rolling – almost apologetically over the goalline past Dunn and a crowd of Maidenhead players.
This was an intense game with a real edge to it throughout, played at a fast tempo by both sides, but that will be of little comfort to Devonshire.
.@MUFCYorkRoad gave their all this afternoon but ultimately have nothing to show for it. The thoughts of stand-in skipper Ryan Upward after today’s 2-1 loss @BOREHAM_WOODFC. @MaidenheadAds 1/2 pic.twitter.com/rEJ0nud4mf— Daniel Darlington (@Darlington10) November 16, 2019
Maidenhead United: Dunn, Steer, Ellul, Davies, Cassidy, Kelly (Sekajja 69'), Whitehall (Mensah 45'), Twumasi (Brissett 74'), Sheckleford, Upward, Smile
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