07:30PM, Friday 10 November 2017
CONFIDENCE remains high in the Maidenhead United camp, despite Sunday’s disappointing 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Coventry City.
Harry Pritchard, the Magpies midfielder who might have given his side a dream start at the Ricoh Arena had he taken a very presentable chance which came his way, believes the Magpies will put Sunday’s loss behind them and rediscover something of their usual tenacity when Gateshead visit York Road this weekend.
A light training session helped the Magpies release some of their frustration from Sunday’s cup exit and Alan Devonshire and the players will ensure they have a game plan in mind for the visit of ‘The Heed’ on Saturday.
Their recent league form has been very solid, with the club winning away at Bromley and picking up very respectable draws against the likes of Dagenham & Redbridge, Dover and Aldershot Town. The Magpies have ruffled plenty of feathers in the league this season and hope to give Gateshead some of the same treatment.
“We did play well at times but our final ball or cross or shot wasn’t quite there. That’s what let us down,” said Pritchard. “We’ve got to take it with a pinch of salt and get it out of our heads as quickly as we can because our league form has been good.”
United are unbeaten in the league in over a month since their surprising 4-0 reverse at Torquay United, and although Pritchard expects improving Gateshead to give them a stern test on Saturday, he’s confident three more points can be bagged in the cauldron-like atmosphere of York Road.
“We’ve come through recent games against Dover, Bromley and Dagenham without losing,” he said. “And we’re usually quite good at bouncing back from disappointments so hopefully we can do that on Saturday. Gateshead will be a difficult game, that’s for sure, but we’ll be looking to pick up the points.
“Their home form has been good but I’m not too sure about their away form. We’ll have a chat about them on Thursday and then come up with a game plan. The fans were brilliant on Sunday, we could hear them the whole way through, but it will be a totally different atmosphere on Saturday. They’re (the fans) much closer to the pitch and have helped us make York Road a bit of a fortress over the past two seasons.”
Gateshead recently appointed the former Newcastle United player Steve Watson as manager, with Micky Cummins confirmed as his assistant this week.
On Saturday they beat Chelmsford City to progress in the FA Cup and held leaders Dover to a goalless draw in their last league match.
Before that they beat Leyton Orient so Magpies’ fans should not expect an easy ride from the North-east club.
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Police have closed part of Ray Mill Road West to traffic this afternoon.