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Maidenhead United Academy players 'grasped opportunity' to impress first team boss Devonshire

Bradley Keetch celebrate’s Maidenhead’s opener

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Maidenhead United’s young academy players grasped their opportunity to impress during Tuesday’s Berks & Bucks Senior Cup tie against Marlow, and assistant boss Ryan Peters says all of them have furthered their first team chances off the back of it.

United exited the competition on penalties, after a brave display in which they took the lead through Bradley Keetch’s 10th minute strike. They were good value for it too and, had luck been on their side, might well have been celebrating progression to the quarter finals at the expense of Mark Bartley’s Blues.

With Alan Devonshire watching from the sidelines, they approached the match without any apprehension and Peters said afterwards they’re very much on the right pathway towards more first team opportunities.

"We've got a bit of an injury crisis at the moment, so didn't want any of the first team players picking up injuries that might have kept them out of the Solihull game on Saturday," said Peters.

"But we'd been getting rave reviews about the academy boys and felt they could put on a show, and they did just that.

"It was a great chance for them to showcase themselves and for the gaffer (Devonshire) to see what they were doing individually, so it was a really positive night from that perspective.

"We now want all of them to come and train with the first team, the gaffer is really impressed with them and they're definitely on the right pathway. They did an incredible job. We know how good they are technically but physically we were wondering if they could adapt - and we knew they'd have a problem aerially - but they were just as good as Marlow on the night.

"It went to penalties and it wasn't to be, but we we were really impressed."

The Magpies management team now turn their attention to Saturday’s trip to managerless Solihull Moors, and will be keen to replicate the display they gave against Moors at York Road when they won 1-0. Peters added that new loan signing Southend United, Emile Acquah, will be in contention for a place in the squad.

"We've got to keep doing it," said Peters. We're only six points away from being far away from the relegation places, but we're also six points away from being right in it. We have to keep putting results and wins on the board to make sure we get away from the bottom four.

"We're a better side than the position we're in now."

He added: "We're not sure whether Tim Flowers leaving is a good thing or not. They picked up a pretty good result against Barrow last night (0-0) so it seems things haven't changed too much there.

"It’s going to be a really, really tough game. We put on a show when we beat them at our place but we’ll have to be as good, if not even better to beat them on Saturday.

"He’ll (Acquah) go straight into the squad.

“The gaffer is working hard to bring the right players in. I don’t know about whether he'll go straight into the starting XI but he’ll definitely be in contention."

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