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Devonshire pleased with United's 'character' in Stockport stalemate

Nathan Blissett. Photo Credit: Darren Woolley

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Maidenhead United boss Alan Devonshire said he was pleased with his players’ character in their draw with Stockport after an underwhelming first 45 minutes on the evening of the club’s 150th anniversary at York Road.

On Tuesday night, the Magpies played out a 0-0 stalemate with the Hatters that moved them into ninth place in the National League. Nathan Blissett could well have stolen all three points for Maidenhead, however, when his header crashed off the inside of the post in the 75th minute.

It was an opportunity that Devonshire and his team lamented at the end of the match, but given the stature of their visitors, the Magpies boss wasn’t too displeased with the full-time result.

“They definitely had more of the ball than us, but we ironed a few things out at half time, and we were so close to nicking it,” said Devonshire.

“We hit the inside of the post, it went across the line and I thought it found its way in actually. But look, they’re a good side. They are one of the favourites to win the league, they’re spending lots of money and they’ve got good players there.

“I don’t think we played that well, but we showed a lot of character in the second half – the shape wasn’t how I wanted it in the first.

“We didn’t press the ball enough, put them under pressure, or get tight enough. We tightened it up in the second half and I felt we played a lot better.

“We put a good shift in and we’ve earned a 0-0 draw against a really good side.”

Devonshire had goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond to thank for earning the Magpies a share of the spoils with the stopper pulling out some remarkable saves in the game’s dying embers, notably from John Rooney and Alex Reid.

“Taye is a good goalkeeper,” added Devonshire. “I don’t think he had an awful lot to do but late on he had a few hairy moments and he dealt with them well. Especially the one he tipped onto the bar - it was a wonderful effort from the lad who hit it on the volley.

“He’s a good ‘keeper and he’s done well for us.”

Maidenhead travel to Hayes Lane this Saturday for their next National League fixture against Bromley. Devonshire is hopeful his side can get one over their hosts having drawn with them 2-2 earlier in the season at York Road.

The Magpies were leading 2-1 courtesy of Danilo Orsi-Dadomo and Shaun Donnellan before Chris Bush snatched a 95th minute equaliser for the Ravens.

“We’ve got to pass the ball better and get after them right from the start,” said Devonshire.

“Bromley are another side that have a big budget and are going for a place in the play-offs. It will be a big game.

“When we were 2-0 up against them at our place they pulled it back to 2-2. We will go into the match looking to improve and win the game as we do with most of them.”

Alan Devonshire said it was nice to see Maidenhead United receive messages of support from several of the players he used to play with before the Magpies played their 150th anniversary match at York Road on Tuesday night.

West Ham United teammate Tony Cottee and England international colleague Luther Blissett were a few of the famous faces who sent kind words to Devonshire and the Magpies ahead of their special occasion.

“It was nice to see,” said Devonshire.

“I still keep in touch with the boys I played with and we chat together, but it’s great for the club and their 150 years. It’s sad because I think we would’ve had a full house with the fans [on Tuesday night] and that would’ve been the best way to celebrate.”

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