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Maidenhead United hold strongest hand to see off Cards in FA Trophy

Daniel Darlington

danield@baylismedia,co.uk
Maidenhead United hold strongest hand to see off Cards in FA Trophy

Woking 0, Maidenhead United 2

Second half goals from Moses Emmanuel and Jake Hyde deservedly booked Maidenhead United’s place in the second round of the FA Trophy at the expense of Woking this afternoon.

The Magpies took full advantage of the Cards’ midweek exertions in the FA Cup to dominate from start to finish at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Alan Devonshire’s side were in need of a victory, having not celebrated in either league or cup for nearly two months. But, in a low key atmosphere at the home of the Cards, there was little doubting that their name, rather than Woking’s, deserved to be in the hat for the next round.

Over the course of 90 minutes the Magpies forced more than 15 corners, and, with Sean Marks and Emmanuel in tandem up front – much in the way Marks and Dave Tarpey linked up in last season’s title win, the Magpies carried much the greater threat of the two sides.

That said, this was a fine display from 1-11, with the defence hardly giving Woking’s forward line a kick, and Carl Pentney in the Maidenhead goal making a couple of fine saves on the odd moment he was called into action.

The best of the first half action was orchestrated by the Magpies. In the 31st minute, Emmanuel raced onto a flicked header from Marks but pulled the ball across Joseph Wollacott and agonisingly wide of the post. A few minutes before the interval Wollacott denied him once again, getting down low to keep out his bullet header.

Earlier Harry Pritchard brushed the foot of the post with a strike that took a little deflection on its way through to goal. Wollacott then threw himself to his right to keep out Christian Smith’s bending free-kick in the 14th minute, and was alert to keep out Marks’ diving header from Max Kilman’s centre from the left.

Woking, who bowed out of the FA Cup after a 5-2 defeat at League One Peterborough, looked like a side that had been winded by a deflating defeat. They were sluggish from the off, however, Pentney did well to take the ball off the toes of Effiong as he tried to take the ball round the Maidenhead custodian late in the first half.

The second period was barely six minutes old when the Magpies got their noses in front. Remy Clerima beat a couple of players with a piece of skill before finding Harold Odametey on the charge. He took the ball to the edge of the Cards’ area before feeding Emmanuel, who took aim and fired the ball low past the previously unbeatable Wollacott.

The goal might have spurred the hosts into life, but instead, the visitors continued to come forward. Pritchard’s left-footed attempt was blocked behind for a corner on the hour mark, and Odametey flashed another effort high and wide of the mark five minutes later.

Woking’s best attempt arrived with 20 minutes to play when substitute Jason Banton sent a half-volley towards the Magpies’ goal, but Pentney was equal to it, tipping the ball over the crossbar with a diving save.

Devonshire shook up his forward line for the final 10 minutes, bringing on Hyde and Adrian Clifton for Marks and Emmanuel, and it did the trick. With a couple of minutes to play Hyde collected Pritchard’s pass on the right edge of the area, cut inside his marker and sent a low shot inside Wollacott’s near post. Pritchard might have added a third in stoppage time when he scampered clear on goal, but he pulled the ball wide under pressure from the Woking custodian. A minute later he thumped the base of the post with Wollacott scrambling, but in truth the Magpies needed no more goals to confirm their dominance.

Manager Devonshire will reflect on one of his side’s best displays of the campaign, and one that should give the side confidence heading into the second half of their league campaign. On this evidence the Magpies can’t be ruled out of FA Trophy contention. Perhaps a run to the final at Wembley can’t be ruled out for this hardworking, organised and talented group of players.

Attendance:648

Maidenhead United: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Massey, Emmanuel (Hyde), Marks (Clifton), Pritchard, Kilman (Mulley), Goodman, Smith.

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