Alan Devonshire's tactical shuffle pays off against the Cards

Remy Clerima and substitute Reece Smith. Photo: George Tewkesbury

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Alan Devonshire acknowledged Joe McNerney’s red card did give Maidenhead United the upper hand against Woking on Saturday, with the Cards player sent off for preventing a goal-scoring opportunity.

Just before the hour mark, Kane Ferdinand was wiped out by last man McNerney when he was looking likely to be one-on-one with goalkeeper Craig Ross. As a result, Daniel Middleton gave the defender his marching orders.

Magpies boss Devonshire revealed to BT Sport after the match that he tweaked his side’s approach when Woking went down to 10 men, his tactics ultimately paying dividends in this clash.

“We changed the system and went to a 4-4-2,” he said. “It was only a matter of time then. We got the second [goal] and we got it early, and then we went on to get the winner.

“I’m delighted for them [the Magpies], we’ve been through the mill a little bit and we’ve had a few injuries. We haven’t got the balance right yet either, but we’re getting there.

“They’ve got to press on – it’s no good feeling sorry for yourself. The only way to get through a bad run is good work ethic, pushing on, and believing in what you’re doing is right.

“This league is a tough league, but we’ve got these three points in our pocket, and now we can look forward to Tuesday night.”

The Magpies’ fans also played their part in this victory with the Bell Street end bouncing ferociously from the moment Josh Kelly scored the equaliser, and Devonshire had nothing but admiration for the support.

“I was at West Ham for a long time, and for me, they are the best fans. In non-league, these [Maidenhead] are the best fans without a doubt,” he said.

“They are the main reason why I came back in the first place along with (Ryan) Peters – we had unfinished business.

“Now we are in the National League, so I want us to push on, and push on when we’re in the new ground too. I expect us to be rocking again on Tuesday night.”

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