11:04PM, Tuesday 17 November 2020
Maidenhead United had to settle for a point against 10-man Aldershot Town but the draw extends their unbeaten run to six games in the National League.
The visitors, who were again without boss Alan Devonshire in the dugout, had 15 minutes to poach victory after the second-half dismissal of former Magpie loanee Mike Fondop.
But the Magpies could not find the elusive goal, despite the efforts of lively substitute Josh Coley.
Maidenhead headed into the game in 4th place in the National League, fresh off an impressive five-game winning streak.
But it was the hosts who almost took an instant lead as Chike Kandi collected the ball on the edge of the area and forced Taye Ashby-Hammond to turn the ball wide after just two minutes.
Aldershot looked snappier on the ball in the opening exchanges and they carved out another opportunity in the 19th minute as Kandi cut the ball back for Toby Edser who arrowed the ball just past the post.
The towering Nathan Blissett cut a somewhat forlorn figure leading the line for the visitors but his muscular hold-up play still caused problems for the Shots backline.
As the half drew to a close, Kodi Lyons-Foster got in a tangle with Maidenhead’s number 9, dragging him to the floor before referee Daniel Middleton brandished a yellow card.
The resultant free-kick from the league’s top scorer, Sam Barratt, bounced out to Shaun Donnellan who could only steer his shot straight at Shots keeper Brad James.
The visitors were forced into a change as Dan Sparkes pulled up chasing a loose ball, with lively winger Josh Coley taking his place.
The wideman looked like he had a point to prove and his early second-half flick sent Ryan Upward clear only for the Magpies midfielder to be sent tumbling to the ground by Shots defender Giles Phillips.
Sam Barratt blasted the resultant free-kick high and wide.
As the second-half progressed, the game started to simmer with new Magpies recruit Rohan Ince booked for a firm challenge on man-of-the-match Alfie Whittingham on the hour-mark.
Match referee Daniel Middleton was soon dishing out stronger punishment for Mike Fondop for his role in a tustle on the touchline by the managerial dugouts.
Live action red card! Who for? It’s not clear...but looks like Mike Fondop has been sent off for the Shots. pic.twitter.com/Cb2G8jC2SP— David Lee (@DavidLee_BM) November 17, 2020
Assistant manager Ryan Peters threw on Josh Smile in a bid to unpick the Shots defence but the 10-man hosts stood firm, resulting in Maidenhead's first draw of the campaign.
Maidenhead United: Ashby-Hammond, Sheckleford, Parry, Massey, Twumasi, Sparkes (Coley 36'), Ince (Smile 86'), Upward, Barratt (72' Orsi), Donnellan, Blissett.
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