09:17AM, Wednesday 26 July 2017
Maidenhead United 1, Hungerford Town 0
Maidenhead United finally got their hands on the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup last night after an entertaining 1-0 win over Hungerford.
United were far from their best as the continue their preparations for the new season but showed the winning mentality of last season as they survived a late barrage of pressure from the Crusaders to grind out victory.
Christian Smith's 20th minute strike in the end proved the difference, the midfielder finding himself in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball home after a fumble from keeper Lewis Ward.
The Magpies - who start their campaign at Maidstone United on Saturday week - played well in flashes.
Dave Tarpey should have doubled their advantage on the half-hour but sliced badly wide from Sean Marks' knock down.
The striker continued to shake the rust from his boots early in the second half when he almost broke free on a couple of occasions only for a poor touch to let him down.
Hungerford can also take credit for their contribution last night.
For the first and final 20 minutes they were the dominant side and will feel they should have drawn level after striking the crossbar on three separate occasions.
Nick Bignall manahed it in the first 10 minutes with an outrageous left-footed effort from the edge of the penalty area that very nearly beat Carl Pentney.
They also created a couple of opportunities before the break when Matt Day's stunning piledriver was tipped over by Pentney before Louie Soares got his angles wrong as he attempted to hook the ball home in the final minute of the half.
And Soares will still be wondering how he didn't score with 10 minutes to play when his shot on the turn struck the underside of the bar.
In the final minutes Hungerford laid siege to Maidenhead's goal without success but they very nearly levelled when James Comley's backwards header bounced off the bar and away to safety.
A couple of goalmouth scrambles later, one which saw Remy Clerima hack the ball off the line, and United were celebrating a league and cup double - albeit delayed from last season.
Not a bad way to kick off the campaign and assistant manager Sam Lock reflected it shows Maidenhead still have the winning mentality.
Maidenhead United: Pentney, Clerima, Pritchard, Inman, Massey, Smith (Upward), Tarpey, Comley, Marks, Mulley (Odametey), Barratt (Kilman). Subs not used Clifton, McKenzie.
Highlights uploaded to YouTube by FC Video.
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