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Maidenhead United seal top half finish in National League after victory over Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient 0, Maidenhead United 1

Maidenhead United will finish their first ever National League season in 12th place, after Ryan Upward’s early goal gave them a well deserved victory at Leyton Orient last night.

Upward struck in the fifth minute for the Magpies, turning the ball home from close range after the O’s failed to properly clear a corner kick.

This was always going to be one of the Magpies’ marquee away fixtures this season, and the players hard-working display ensured it was also a memorable one.

Whatever the result of their final game at home to Bromley on Saturday, the Magpies now cannot be caught for 12th place, and will finish this debut National League campaign with a top half finish. Established non-league and league sides including Orient, Gateshead, Hartlepool United, Halifax Town and Woking. Saturday’s visitors still have an outside chance of finishing in the play-offs, so will have to throw caution to the wind meaning the Magpies last game of the season has all of the ingredients to be a real cracker.

United always looked in control last night, after taking the lead through Upward’s slotted finish in the fifth minute. Carl Pentney was called into action on a few occasions on his 150th appearance for the Magpies, but he was equal to everything that came his way. He tipped a shot wide in the 18th minute and saved well again midway through the second half to preserve the visitors slender advantage.

Sam Barratt might have put the game to bed in the 85th minute, when his shot from 12 yards rattled back off the crossbar, but the visitors saw out six minutes of stoppage time quite comfortably, even after the dismissal of Upward for dissent. Adams came within a whisker of a leveller, when his shot rose just over the bar, but this was Maidenhead United’s night.

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Royston Town 0, Slough Town 4

Slough Town are in pole position to finish third and claim a home play-off semi-final after winning away at Royston Town last night.

The Rebels steamrollered their hosts in the first half, scoring three times through Warren Harris (twice) and Perry Coles. After that their seventh away win on the bounce was always going to be a formality, and James Dobson’s late finish capped off an extremely satisfying night.

Kettering Town’s 3-2 defeat at home to Tiverton Town meant the Rebels rose to third in the table, and, that’s where they’ll finish the campaign if they can repeat last night’s win over Royston when the sides meet again at Arbour Park on Saturday.

Jack Turner kept his 15th clean sheet in the league this season, while new signing Scott Davies has helped the side to 31 points from 36 since joining.

Reflecting on the win, Slough’s 29th of the season, Baker said: “Another excellent away performance for our lads against a good team! Have to go and do it again on Saturday now! Have given ourselves a chance for a home play off! But it is only a chance. Let’s pack out Arbour Park. “

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