02:15PM, Thursday 29 November 2018
Maidenhead United can finally start to look up the National League table again, after a win over Sutton United and a home draw with Ebbsfleet United earned them their first points for nearly two months.
Adrian Clifton’s late header, from James Comley’s searching cross, earned the Magpies a crucial – and deserved – 1-0 win over Sutton United on Saturday, a result which kick-started the side’s season and got them motoring for Tuesday’s combative 1-1 draw with Ebbsfleet, where Reece Cole scored a brilliant second-half equaliser.
The Magpies were in danger of undoing their good work from the weekend when they fell behind to Michael Cheek’s strike in the first half, but Cole’s brilliant free-kick, just two minutes into his Magpies’ debut, secured another useful point for Devonshire’s men.
Speaking after the final whistle, Devonshire said: “I don’t think we played that well tonight.
“We were still a bit tired from Saturday where we put in a big shift on the plastic.
“I would have taken that (a draw) before kick-off and it was a great bit of quality to get it.
“It was good that we got back into the game but, listen, we know there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“The balance was right on Saturday. Was it right tonight? I’m not sure.”
Much of the change of form is down to the character shown by the players to work hard in training and grind out results on the pitch, but they’ve also been bolstered by four new signings – Seth Twumasi from Maidstone United, Cole from Brentford, Alfie Kilgour from Bristol Rovers and – the most notable – Dave Tarpey, who’s returned for a short spell on loan in order to prove his fitness following a 14- month spell on the sidelines through injury.
The new signings should keep the Magpies moving in the right direction these next few weeks, but keeping them at the club through loan extensions, or finding adequate replacements when the loans run their course, will be key to how United’s season pans out.
On the draw with Fleet, and Cole’s sumptuous strike, Devonshire added: “The kid’s got so much quality.
“He’s a very good player and we’re lucky to have him.
“I’ve got to thank Brentford for that. Hopefully we can put his career back on track.”
He added: “I think, if anyone was going to score at the end, it was going to be us.
“But, at the end of the day, we’ve got four points from six after losing six on the bounce so I don’t want to be greedy.”
For now though, Devonshire is simply concentrating on the Magpies’ next hurdle, fifth-placed Harrogate at home on Saturday.
“Harrogate are a very good side so we’ll see how that goes.
“It’s going to be tough because they’re scoring goals all the time,” he said.
“It’s a test we’re looking forward to but, hopefully, we can now start looking up the table rather than down.”
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All lines are currently blocked between London Paddington and Reading after a person was hit by a train between Maidenhead and Slough.