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From the Archives: Barnard error is cruelly punished against local rivals

Neil Maskell

There was late heartache for Alan Devonshire’s Magpies who suffered a blow to their hopes of retaining their Ryman Isthmian League Premier Division status with a 1-0 derby defeat at Slough Town 20 years ago.

Maidenhead – in their first ever season at this level – had goalkeeper Richard Barnard to thank for keeping them in this contest for 89 minutes.

Derek Asamoah – who would later enjoy spells with Nice in France and Bulgarian outfit Lokomotiv Sofia – was continually denied by Barnard but cruelly it was the Maidenhead ‘keeper who was to blame for the winner which came with a minute left to play.

Slough dominated the second half of the match and with time running out Graham Kemp lifted another high ball into the area, putting Barnard under pressure.

The Maidenhead goalkeeper collided with a team mate as he went to claim the cross, spilling the ball into the path of substitute and former Wycombe man Damian Markman who swept home into an empty net.

It had been a tough day all round for United; top scorer Lee Channell and influential midfielder Matty Glynn had missed the match through injury and Devonshire then saw Adrian Allen and Darren Grieves limp off having picked up knocks.

Despite disappointment at the loss of the derby, Maidenhead had a number of games in hand over their rivals.

In their final eight matches Devonshire’s side took 12 points to ensure their status for another year.

The Rebels meanwhile could only win two of their final five games and were demoted to Division 1.

Consequently, that fixture played twenty years ago tomorrow remains the most recent league fixture played between the two old rivals.

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