07:13PM, Saturday 10 March 2018
Gateshead FC 7, Maidenhead United 1
Maidenhead United will be glad to see the back of Gateshead this season, after capitulating to a 7-1 defeat at the International Stadium this afternoon.
Manager Alan Devonshire didn’t think the Magpies could play as badly as they did in the 3-0 defeat to Steve Watson’s side at York Road in November. It turns out he was wrong.
The Magpies, who sat 12th and above Gateshead in the table before kick-off, were competitive enough in the first half, and briefly levelled matters at 1-1 when Jake Hyde scrambled the ball home in the 25th minute. But that was the solitary bright spot for the Magpies on a gloomy afternoon in the north east.
In the opening minutes there were chances for Jake Goodman, who headed wide under pressure, and Harry Pritchard, who fired wide at the near post. But the concerted home pressure finally told in the 21st minute when Richard Peniket – the scorer of Heed’s winning goal in their FA Trophy replay win over Leyton Orient on Tuesday night – turned home a cross from close range.
An almighty goalmouth scramble finished with Hyde poking the Magpies level four minutes later, but Devonshire’s men were level for all of two minutes as former player Jamal Fyfield hooked home at the far post to make it 2-1.
That’s the way it remained until half-time, and Maidenhead will have half fancied their chances of making a comeback in the second half. When Sam Barratt danced infield and tested James Montgomery from range those hopes will have been raised, while Pritchard, Max Kilman and Barratt all linked up well in the first 15 minutes of the period. What followed was without doubt the Magpies’ worst half hour of the season.
Danny Johnson rifled in from Fox’s pull-back to make it 3-1 and the visitors capitulated. Johnson scrambled in Gateshead’s fourth from a corner before rolling the ball through Carl Pentney’s legs to make it 5-1 with 11 minutes to play. Patrick McLaughlin stroked home The Heed’s sixth of the afternoon a minute later and Jordan Burrow poked home a seventh in the final minute to compound the misery.
Ryan Upward summed up the prevailing mood ahead of the long journey home: “Wow. Not good enough. Fell apart. We are better than that. Sorry to the fans that travelled. This journey home is going to be horrible.”
Defender Remy Clerima added: “It is really embarrassing for the team as much as it is for the fans. That’s not acceptable at all. I have never lost that much in my whole career.”
The Magpies will get a shot at redemption when they visit Boreham Wood on Tuesday night.
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