03:47PM, Saturday 12 August 2017
Maidenhead United 2, Hartlepool United 1
Dave Tarpey produced a couple of slick finishes as Maidenhead United sank a surprisingly inept Hartlepool United for a first ever win in the National League this afternoon.
The Magpies dominated from the first whistle and two goals either side of half-time from their poacher in chief Tarpey gave them a deserved cushion before Padraig Amond netted from the spot to hand Craig Harrison’s men a lifeline.
Frustrated after their efforts in Tuesday’s defeat to Wrexham went unrewarded, the Magpies blasted out of the blocks at York Road, keen to impress in front of the BT Sport cameras.
Their lethargic-looking visitors invited pressure and Maidenhead duly obliged, taking the game by the scruff of the neck in the early stages. Harry Pritchard nodded an early attempt from an in-swinging Tarpey corner over the bar before Ryan Upward attempted to turn home another low cross from Tarpey, who was causing havoc down the right.
With Harold Odametey biting into challenges in midfield and James Comley controlling things in the centre Maidenhead looked the craftier outfit against a side playing their first ever season outside of the football league.
Sean Marks flung himself at a deep cross from Max Kilman in the 19th minute but wasn’t able to steer his header on target and Comley was just off target with an ambitious attempt from distance.
Jake Goodman, brought in to partner captain Alan Massey at the heart of Maidenhead’s defence, was fortunate not to turn Jake Cassidy’s low cross into his own net on the half-hour mark but that was as close as the visitors came.
The Magpies’ opener came from a familiar source as Marks flicked a long ball on for Tarpey to outstrip his marker and steer the ball beyond Scott Loach.
It might have got worse for Pools before half-time but for their goalkeeper who pulled off a great save to deny Upward’s flicked attempt, while Pritchard only just failed to tee up Tarpey for a strike in the final seconds off the half after more good work down the right by Odametey to set up the chance.
Hartlepool returned for the second half with far more intent, and should have snatched an equaliser when Cassidy turned the ball wide of Carl Pentney’s post in the 50th minute. But their spirits were sapped in the 58th minute when Louis Laing’s lazy pass to central defensive partner Scott Harrison was seized upon by Tarpey who thumped home his second of the game off the underside of the crossbar
Tarpey might have sealed the win with a thumping volley in the 72nd minute but Loach got down well to push the strike away, and just out of reach of the lurking Adrian Clifton, a substitute for Marks.
Hartlepool were more effective after the introduction of Nicky Deverdics and Devante Rodney, and Pentney needed to be at his best to keep out Harrison’s instinctive shot in the 80th minutes. But the visitors grabbed hold of a lifeline when Comley brought down Deverdics in the box five minutes from time and Amond kept his composure to steer home the spot-kick.
Pentney was called upon again in the final minutes to keep out Harrison’s effort at the far post, but Maidenhead held out for a famous victory. Tarpey should have rubber-stamped the win, and netted his hat-trick, in the final seconds but Loach stood up well to deny him.
Maidenhead United: Pentney, Clerima, Odametey, Massey ©, Tarpey, Comley, Marks (Clifton 69), Pritchard (Mulley 74), Upward (Inman 89), Kilman, Goodman.
Subs not used: Hyde, Barratt.
Hartlepool United: Loach, Magnay ©, Adams, Donnelly (Rodney 67), Harrison, Laing, Newton, Hawkins (Woods 45), Donaldson (Deverdics 67), Cassidy, Amond. Subs not used: Munns, Featherstone.
Attendance: 1491 (Hartlepool fans 259).