08:08PM, Saturday 14 March 2020
Photo Credit: Darren Woolley
Maidenhead United 1, Stockport County 2
In what might prove to be their last competitive appearance for some time, Maidenhead United certainly didn’t go out with a bang after they were edged 2-1 by Stockport County at York Road.
The result hands the Magpies a fifth consecutive defeat, dropping them into 22nd place in the National League, and will be of a great concern for boss Alan Devonshire if the season was to conclude with the current standings and his side firmly entrenched in the relegation zone.
On Saturday, Stockport came away with all three points after Liam McAlinden’s spectacular strike secured victory for the Hatters and extended their unbeaten run to six games.
Up until that point Maidenhead’s Ody Alfa looked in contention for goal of the game after his effort fired the Magpies in the ascendancy after a fairly tame start to the match.
On the 27th minute, new signing Dylan Asonganyi broke with the ball at his feet before scooping it over Stockport’s backline for Alfa to run onto and smash home a first time volley.
Liam Hogan came close to restoring parity for the Hatters before the break but could only see his drilled effort screw wide of the post as the first half concluded with Maidenhead deservedly in the ascendancy.
Evidently displeased with his side's lack of chances in the first half, Stockport manager Jim Gannon made a double change at the interval, bringing on Elliot Osborne and McAlinden.
Now kicking up the slope, Stockport had a tough time containing the advancing Magpies who came close to doubling their advantage through Josh Smile and Danny Whitehall’s efforts that just whistled past the woodwork.
But having weathered Maidenhead’s early onslaught, the Hatters levelled affairs when Ash Palmer rose to nod Paul Turnbull’s free kick down and into the far corner of the net. It was a poor goal to concede given that the Magpies had been a solid unit in both attack and defence leading up to the equaliser. However, it wasn’t long before the visitors scored again to put their noses in front with just 14 minutes left to play.
From a swift counter attack, McAlinden received the ball before unleashing a brilliant strike from the edge of the area. The substitute’s curled effort flew all the way into the top corner as an unsuspecting Ashby-Hammond remained rooted on his line.
The Hatters safely played out the remaining minutes of the game, including the five added at the end, with relative ease to avenge their opening-day defeat to Maidenhead at Edgeley Park.
With the ongoing threat of coronavirus, it remains to be seen if this afternoon's contest could well be the finale to Maidenhead's season. After the game, Alan Devonshire reflected: “I can’t believe we were here today. We shouldn’t have played. The National League has let us down big time. It’s not about football, it’s life.”
Stockport boss Jim Gannon added: “There was no real reason not to play the game because at the moment there’s no impact on us. But I think we, and the National League, have to be very careful with what we decide to do.”
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