01:02PM, Monday 10 May 2021
Ryan Peters expected Maidenhead United to give Hartlepool United a good game on Saturday, but to win the match in such thrilling fashion, with a hat-trick from Sam Barratt after the side had been reduced to 10 men, went way beyond those expectations.
United led 2-1 at the break thanks to strikes from Danilo Orsi-Dadomo, his 17th of the season, and a tap in from Barratt. But they’d also been reduced to 10 men after Ryheem Sheckleford was given his marching orders for a challenge minutes before the interval.
Rhys Oates, who’d waltzed through the Maidenhead backline before firing beyond Rhys Lovett, had given Pools a lifeline and, with the extra man they must have fancied their chances of turning the game around in the second half.
Instead, they were sunk by a couple of marvellous goals by Barratt, carbon-copy strikes which arrowed into the bottom corner from well outside the area.
Reflecting on a 4-2 victory that was full of incident, Peters told Maidenhead’s media officer Grace Scott: “I expected us to give it a go and I expected us to win the game. But win it in the manner we did? Probably not.
“I rarely speak about the officials, but they weren’t great today.
“To have them not on our side and to still come away with a victory, it’s really pleasing.
“I’m really pleased for Sammy (Barratt). He’s had a torrid time with injury over the past few years so to come back to his home, and score as many goals as he has, it’s been great. But it’s not just about Sammy, it’s been a great team performance in a match where we’ve been down to 10 men for around 60-minutes.
“We’ve also come up against a good side today, a side that’s going to be in the play offs. It’s a really good Hartlepool side and they play good, flowing, football, but so do we, even with 10-men.”
Hartlepool hadn’t lost at Victoria Park for more than five months before Maidenhead’s visit this weekend. Their impressive home form is one of the main reasons they’ve leapt into promotion contention, however, the Magpies were good value for their victory which keeps alive their own slim hopes of finishing in the top seven. They also did it after travelling up to the North East on the day of the game.
“We travelled up on the day today,” said Peters. “We left really early. It’s probably not what Hartlepool did when they came to play at ours, but that’s where we are at this moment in time. There’s nothing we can do about it. We just rolled our sleeves up and got on with it. We did that today and we won the game.”
Tomorrow evening (Tuesday) they host another side vying for the play-offs, Notts County at York Road. The Magpies go into the game eight points adrift of seventh placed County with a game in hand over them.
“This win shows that on our day we can beat anyone,” said Peters. “We know we can and now we’ve got Notts County on Tuesday and we’ll look to do the same to them.”