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Highlights: Maidenhead's play-off pursuit dealt further damage by Spitfires

Maidenhead's play-off pursuit dealt further damage by Spitfires

Photo: Darren Woolley

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Maidenhead United 0, Eastleigh 1

Maidenhead United’s play-off charge was dealt another serious blow as they were beaten 1-0 by Eastleigh at York Road on Monday.

A late goal by Ben House condemned Maidenhead to a second loss in three days, after Friday’s defeat at Weymouth, and the Magpies finished this fixture with ten men once again after Josh Coley was dismissed in the 66th minute.

Alan Devonshire’s men are now 14th in the National League table, level on points with Solihull Moors and Yeovil Town, but with games in hand over their rivals in the top half.

United were without a few key players for this afternoon’s clash with midfielders James Comley and Rohan Ince absent from the squad. Manny Parry was a welcome addition in the lineup, however, having seen his red card from Friday’s clash rescinded.

Maidenhead began the brighter of the two teams and tested their visitors’ defence inside 10 minutes after a George Wells free kick was headed across goal by Nathan Blissett only for it to be hacked away by Pierce Bird.

Blissett registered the Magpies’ first shot on goal five minutes later, but his side-footed effort at the far post was too tame to trouble Joe McDonnell between the sticks. The remainder of the half passed by with little action as both teams struggled to pose any danger in the area.

Maidenhead came out after the break on their toes as Coley danced into the box with ease before his effort was deflected wide for a corner. Parry rose highest from the following Dan Sparkes cross but could only flick the ball over the woodwork.

A Jack Payne corner troubled the Magpies just before the hour, his cross neatly dropping inside the six-yard box. But with no Eastleigh attacker present, captain Alan Massey was able to clear away the danger.

Five minutes later, Coley saw red after he kicked out at Andrew Boyce as the men wrestled one another to the ground. The sending off was the winger’s second of the season and forced the Magpies to play with 10 men for the remaining half an hour.

A series of substitutions were made by both Devonshire and Eastleigh manager Ben Strevens next as a way to accommodate the absence in midfield, and it was the latter whose change proved successful.

With his first touch of the ball, Ben House was able to volley in the game’s only goal with just four minutes of normal time remaining. In front of a dejected Taye Ashby-Hammond, the travelling Spitfires mobbed the goalscorer and upon the restart were able to hold on for all three points.

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