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GOAL HIGHLIGHTS: Devonshire shuffles his pack to help Maidenhead United pick up crucial win over Cards

Maidenhead United 2, Woking 1

Mathematically there may be some work still to do, but Maidenhead United fans can wake up this morning safe in the knowledge their side will play in the National League again next season.

The Magpies have finally reached the 52 point mark manager Alan Devonshire has targeted all season, but they got there the hard way on Tuesday evening, coming from behind for a 2-1 win over relegation threatened Woking.

The victory, secured through late goals from Adrian Clifton – with his first touch – and Sean Marks, also ended a run of six matches without a win for the Magpies.

After Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Aldershot Town, the Magpies were keen to avoid being dragged into the relegation picture.

A win for Woking would have done just that, and it looked like the visitors might just do that when an almighty mix-up between Carl Pentney and Rene Steer presented Regan Charles-Cook with the chance to tee up substitute Jonny Edwards  for the first goal on 76 minutes.

The Woking fans, who had travelled in good number to York Road, were in good voice after the strike, but they were silent shortly afterwards when Clifton, thrown on from the bench by Devonshire only seconds before, netted with a firm header from Ryan Upward’s free-kick to level things up.

Both sides pressed in the final minutes, sensing an opportunity, but it was the Magpies who struck decisively when another of Devonshire’s substitute, Sam Barratt, escaped his marker down the left and whipped in a wonderful low cross which Marks bundled home under pressure with two minutes left on the clock.

The goal has all but eliminated any fears of the drop for Maidenhead, but Jason Goodliffe, the interim Woking boss alongside club legend Geoff Chapple, look to have a real job on their hands to prevent the Cards from folding into the division below. With three games left, they sit just a point above the drop zone and their rivals have matches in hand on them.

The pitch made life difficult for either side to express themselves fully, but Maidenhead carved out the game’s best chances. Marks slammed an early effort just wide of the post and Harold Odametey was within inches of finding the net with a deflected effort.

Moses Emmanuel didn’t have one of his best games for the club, but he had a strong penalty claim on the hour mark and struck the frame of the goal a few minutes later.

Nathan Baxter then made the save of the match to deny Harry Pritchard with 20 minutes to go after a wonderful ball over the top from James Comley.

It looked like those efforts might count for nothing, when Woking scored through Edwards, having only threatened periodically before that, but Clifton and Marks came to the Magpies’ rescue.

Reflecting on the win which should seal safety, Dev added: “I don’t think Carl has had a save to make tonight. They’ve had one shot that went wide. We’ve had the opportunities, in good areas, but listen we’ve won the game, which is what it’s all about, and we have our target of 52 points.

"A decent crowd again, 1,303, and a few more home games to come. We’re looking to Dover now. Dover are going for the play-offs, Sutton are going for the play-offs, well second place, so we’ve got a lot to play for and we’ll see what happens this week.”

Maidenhead United: Pentney, Steer, Odametey, Massey, Emmanuel (Hyde), Comley (Barratt), Marks, Pritchard, Upward, Kilman (Clifton), Goodman. Subs not used: Owusu, Smith. 

Attendance: 1303

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Other scores: 

Biggleswade Town 3, Slough Town 5

Marlow 1, Fleet Town 2

Windsor 4, Binfield 3

Thatcham Town 4, Burnham 0

Holyport 3, Chinnor 0

Fulham 1, Reading 0

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