10:31AM, Wednesday 17 February 2021
Photo Credit: Darren Woolley
Maidenhead United 0, Stockport County 0
Maidenhead United could only play out a goalless draw against Stockport County on a momentous evening at York Road under the lights.
On Tuesday night, the Magpies celebrated their 150th anniversary of the first football match played at the ground with a clash against the high-flying Hatters.
Alan Devonshire’s men would have undoubtedly liked to mark the occasion with a victory but were forced to settle for a point against a strong side who pushed and pulled their hosts right to the final whistle.
County were the dominant side in the opening 10 minutes with Will Collar narrowly nodding the ball over the bar from John Rooney’s lofted cross. Collar had an opportunity to make amends almost immediately after but again glanced his header just wide of the woodwork.
It took until the 26th minute for Maidenhead to register their first shot on goal with Danilo Orsi-Dadomo testing Ben Hinchliffe from the edge of the area only for the Stockport ‘keeper to comfortably contain his effort.
Further opportunities remained few and far between as Ryan Upward picked up the first yellow card of the evening just before the half-hour mark and Alan Massey went into the book on the stroke of half-time, both from cynical fouls. Chances were at a premium, but County went into the break looking the better of the two sides.
Within seconds of the restart, Hinchliffe was called into action as Dan Sparkes forced the ‘keeper to get down low to parry his fizzing effort away for a corner. Astute defending from the visitors kept the Magpies at bay as they failed to produce anything from the set piece.
The hosts’ defence held equally as firm when Alex Reid shaped up a shot minutes later that was blocked and the ball sent on its way for Maidenhead to counter. With James Comley leading the charge, Collar made the foul to break it up earning a yellow card in the process.
The Hatters made their first change of the night before the hour with Richie Bennett replacing Tom Walker. The Magpies responded with a change of their own with Josh Coley entering the fray for Sparkes.
Minutes later, Rooney challenged Taye Ashby-Hammond’s reflexes with a long-range effort that the Magpies ‘keeper could only tip out of play. Stockport turned up the pressure but Ashby-Hammond was equal to it as he smothered Reid’s attempt after he was sent through at the near post.
With time running out, both sides pushed for a breakthrough and it looked likely the Magpies had found it on the 75th minute. From George Wells’ in-swinging cross, Nathan Blissett flashed the ball onto the inside of the left post before any danger was quickly mopped up by the visitors’ defence.
Penalty shouts were dismissed by the referee in the 83rd minute when Ash Palmer went down under pressure inside the Magpies box, and Ashby-Hammond smothered with another effort from Reid soon after to keep the scoreline level.
The Magpies ‘keeper ensured he was to have the final say in the game as he tipped Rooney’ stunning effort from range onto the bar and out of play on the stroke of full time, an attempt that could well have secured the visitors a dramatic victory.
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