11:46AM, Monday 07 August 2017
CHAIRMAN Peter Griffin admitted the side had been second best at Maidstone United, but said momentum shifted with the changes Alan Devonshire made in the final quarter.
With the Magpies trailing 1-0 to Joe Piggot's free-kick, central defender Dean Inman was the first to be replaced by Adrian Clifton, while Sam Barratt and Jake Goodman came on for Ryan Upward and Harry Pritchard in the closing stages as the visitors threw caution to the wind in an effort to get something from the game.
And on 88 minutes Dave Tarpey's inswinging corner was met by Barratt's header and the ball clattered off the underside of the crossbar and in.
United struck the crossbar twice more in the final seconds, but, after a breathless final five minutes, they were satisfied with their point - their very first in the National League.
“I wouldn't say we'd been outclassed, but we were definitely second best for big portions of the game,” said Griffin.
“There were bits where we created chances in the first half so I thought we could get something. When it stayed at 1-0 - they hit the crossbar a couple of times and had some really gilt edged chances - but with 10 minutes to go, when Sam came on and Goodman came on, and Adrian Clifton made a difference, I thought it just shifted a little bit.
“Suddenly they looked rattled because they knew they should have put the game to bed. The goal was obviously fantastic but after that it just went crazy for five/ten minutes.”
Giffin added that Maidenhead's ability to absorb pressure will be one of their strong suits this season.
“I thought Maidstone were very decent, they created some good chances and that was a tough test today,” he said. “But we can absorb pressure and for us to get a draw, away from home, in our first game of the season. Delighted.
“When you're only 1-0 down you've always got a chance. With five minutes to go we've equalised and we're running around trying to get the ball back into play to get another. It shifted very quickly.
“Dev is an experienced manager. He knows what to do in these situations. It doesn’t always come off but today it did and I thought all three subs gave us a different offering.”
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