06:13PM, Saturday 09 February 2019
James Akintunde tucks home the Magpies’ winner.
Maidenhead United 1, Boreham Wood 0
Maidenhead United picked up a hugely important win in their battle to avoid the drop, as James Akintunde came off the bench to score the winner against Boreham Wood.
The Magpies thoroughly deserved their win, having pinned Wood inside their own half for much of the second period and restricted their visitors to half chances.
They even saw out the final 10 minutes with only 10 men after Harold Odametey was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Kieran Murtagh.
Victory keeps the Magpies noses above the relegation zone on 34 points while Boreham Wood won’t be sitting all that comfortably in 15th position on 39 points.
Defences were largely on top in a poor first half. The Magpies shaded it in terms of chances with Sam Nombe forcing George Legg into a save in the seventh minute before Wood claimed the upper hand. Gozie Ugwu’s effort, from a Murtagh free-kick was blocked inside the box after 19 minutes before Odametey got back to make a crucial block to deny Murtagh, whose attempt looped over the bar on 28 minutes.
The best chance of the half fell to Adrian Clifton, but he hooked Odametey’s cross from the left wide at full stretch on the half-hour mark. The Magpies then saw two chances go begging at the end of the half when Alfie Kilgour’s firm header was clawed behind by Legg, while Ryan Upward stabbed over after an almighty goalmouth scramble.
The game was much improved after the interval. Femi Ilesanmi’s shot on the turn was well held by Pentney before United took control. Kilgour’s header from a James Comley corner drifted wide in the 55th minute and the ball bounced off the Wood post a few minutes later as the visitors’ goal led a charmed life.
Akintunde should have scored with his first touch, after replacing Josh Kelly, when his flicked attempt from close range was kept out by Legg in the 64th minute, but he made amends 10 minutes later when Clifton brought the ball down well and threaded through a clever pass for the striker to beat Legg with a cool left-footed finish.
Odametey saw red a few minutes later but the Magpies comfortably held on for their 10th win of the campaign. They go to leaders Leyton Orient next weekend.
Afterwards Magpies assistant Sam Lock said: “I thought we dominated the second half. We created numerous chances. Had one cleared off the line, we hit the post. But we got the three points and I couldn’t care less how it came about. The most important thing today is we got the points. They were excellent today, every single one of them put a shift in and they’re buzzing in there.”
Boreham boss Luke Garrard added: “I’m not going to take anything away from Maidenhead. They did everything they said they’d do on the tin. They played this pitch superbly but I thought we were under-par. I don’t think many had a good game. We carried far too many passengers and got exactly what we deserved. Nothing.”
Formations (4-5-1): Maidenhead United: Pentney 7: Twumasi 7, Kilgour 8, Massey 7, Steer 8; Odametey 8, Comley 7, Upward 7, Nombe 7, Kelly 7 (Akintunde 62’ 8); Clifton 8 (Bird 90’). Subs not used: Clerima, Owusu, Peters.
Boreham Wood (4-4-2): Legg 8; Woodards 6, Parry 6, Fyfield 6, Ilesamni 8; Ricketts 6 (Shields 75’ 6), Champion 6, Shakes 6, Murtagh 7; Ugwu 6 (Ash 71’ 6), Kanu 5 (Shaibu 67’ 6). Subs not used: Huddart, Thomas.
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