06:27PM, Saturday 01 September 2018
Photo: Josh Kelly (playing against Gateshead). Credit: Mick Vogel.
Maidenhead United 2, Bromley 2
This should have been a story of Josh Kelly announcing himself to the National League with a stunning strike, or his blossoming partnership with the in-form Adrian Clifton. Instead, Maidenhead United conceded twice in second half stoppage-time to take only a point from a match they looked destined to win.
For 89 minutes the Magpies were excellent and deservedly led through well-taken goals from Clifton and youth-team product Kelly.
But, with the clock ticking past the 90 minute mark, Marc-Anthony Okoye was bundled over in the box for a penalty, which substitute Frankie Sutherland tucked low to Carl Pentney’s right.
Then, less than a minute later, Roger Johnson won an aerial duel after the ball was pumped high into the Magpies area, the defence failed to clear their lines and Bromley’s stand-out player George Porter smashed the ball into the back of the net.
The late twist was cruel on Maidenhead, who’d produced their best performance of the season and looked to be coasting to the points before losing composure following a late incident in which James Mulley appeared to be fouled. Two Magpies players, Rene Steer and Mulley, were booked in the aftermath and the side looked out of sorts in the final minutes.
A low key start to the game saw both sides land a couple of blows. The impressive Nana Owusu tested David Gregory with a low shot from the edge of the box, while Porter scuffed an attempt into the hands of Pentney at the other end when he should probably have done better.
After a good spell of possession the Magpies went close again in the 27th minute when Steer cut inside Okore and flighted a curling shot a foot wide of Gregory’s upright. Pentney did well to gather up Okore’s downward header on the half-hour mark before the Magpies struck decisively three minutes later when Kelly, starting instead of the injured Ryan Bird, flicked the ball over his head for Clifton who, without thinking, lashed a low left-footed shot beyond Gregory and in off the far post. It was the striker’s third goal of the season and the strike of a man full of confidence.
A satisfactory first 45 minutes for the home side gave way was followed by a controlled second half display in which they limited Bromley to half chances at best. In the 52nd minute Kelly very nearly got on the end of Clifton’s chipped pass, but Gregory foiled his attempt and deflected it behind for a corner. The Magpies’ defence fielded a series of Bromley corners, with Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe heading narrowly wide from one of them in the 59th minute, but the points appeared to be signed, sealed and delivered by Kelly in the 62nd minute.
The young striker, who scored a hatful of goals on loan at Walton Casuals last season, put the Magpies 2-0 up with a strike of real quality. Collecting Clifton’s pass on the edge of the area he threw a couple of Bromley players with an impudent Cruyff turn before arrowing a shot into the roof of the net.
That looked to be that for match before Bromley unsettled the Magpies in the final minutes with their direct and determined play. Sutherland curled a free-kick just over Pentney’s bar and York Road breathed a big sigh of relief, but in the first two minutes of the five added by referee Paul Howard, United somehow conspired to concede twice, first through Sutherland’s penalty kick and then Porter’s powerful finish. Their equaliser led to jubilant scenes from the Bromley bench who rushed the field and there was little time for a response from the crestfallen home side.
Sam Lock, Maidenhead’s assistant manager, said: “I thought performance wise that was our best performance of the season. Obviously we didn’t get the result we deserved. I felt that at important times in the game our decisions weren’t good enough. I felt it was never a penalty. That puts us under pressure but from that moment on we’ve made poor decisions. We got sucked into what they wanted which was a fight and we didn’t take control of the situation. But if we’re going to look at this pragmatically then the performance was very good. We dominated the game. Created numerous opportunities and I can’t remember them having too many chances other than the two they’ve scored with.”
Neil Smith, the Bromley manager, admitted the Ravens had got out of jail: “We did (get lucky), but we did the same against Wrexham when we were 2-0 down so I had that belief in the players. First half I thought we were doing okay. Second half wasn’t us. I made the changes and the boys that came on helped that (result) come to fruition.
“We had chances in the first half that we didn’t take and they obviously took theirs. To come in 1-0 down was disappointing, and then they got the second one. You can’t play great every time but if you come away with a result then you take it.”
Maidenhead United (4-4-2)
Pentney 7; Clerima 7, Massey 7, Obileye 6, Steer 7; Odametey 8, Upward 7, Owusu 8 (Cole 74’ 7), Mulley 8; Clifton 8 (Archer 85’ 6), Kelly 8 (Akintunde 78’ 7). Subs not used: Alves, Smith.
Gregory 7, Johnson 8, Goodman 7, Okoye 7; Wood 6,Goddard 7 (Taylor 68’ 6), Higgs 7 (Sutherland 65’ 8), Raymond 7, Porter 8; Bugiel 8 (Meekums 81’ 6), Ogedi-Uzokwe 7. Subs not used: Adebayo-Rowling, Johnson.
Chelmsford City 0, Slough Town 1
Chris Flood scored the only goal of the game in the second half as Slough Town bagged an impressive three points at Chelmsford City.
Flood took full advantage of a sloppy defensive pass to rifle the Rebels in front in the 69th minute.
Matty Stevens, who signed on loan from Peterborough United this week (having netted 34 goals on loan at Kettering Town last season), went straight into the starting line-up and came close to a debut goal in the second half. He had the ball in the net in the 64th minute but was flagged offside, and a couple of minutes later forced McDonald into a fine save after rounding off a flowing Slough attack.
They rode their luck at times, particularly in the first half when Jack Turner pulled off a magnificent save from close range to keep the scores level. It was a save joint manager Jon Underwood described as the 'best he'd ever seen live'.
Reflecting on the result, and the key impact he had on the game, Turner said on twitter: "Get in there you beauty! Happy to help out where I can. This clean sheet and win is so sweet."
Selected other results:
Westfield 1, Marlow 2
Flackwell Heath 0, Longlevens 0
Royal Wootton Bassett 2, Windsor 1
Ardley 1, Holyport 4 (FA Vase)
Burnham 4, Wokingham & Emmbrook 2
Reading 1, Sheffield Wednesday 2
Wycombe Wanderers 1, Luton Town 1
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