04:23PM, Monday 03 April 2017
Alan Devonshire and Stan Payne, pictured in 1997 when the Magpies won their first trophy in 27 years, the Full Members Cup
1997: A 2-0 win at Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday, March 25, edged Maidenhead United closer to the National League South title, but it also marked the 20th anniversary of Alan Devonshire becoming sole manager of the club during his first spell at York Road.
Devonshire, jointly appointed alongside Martyn Busby in the summer of 1996, led the club for the first time as manager on March 25, 1997 and the team secured a 3-0 win over Bognor Regis.
During his first spell at the Magpies, Devonshire guided the club to promotion to the Ryman Premier League, and, after a barren period of 27 trophy-less seasons, he won five cup finals with the team.
His second spell in charge began shortly after the 2014/15 campaign when Johnson Hippolyte’s eight-year tenure was brought to an end.
Devonshire somewhat surprisingly opted to move from National League club Braintree Town to take over the Magpies, but said in his first week as manager he had ‘unfinished business’ at Maidenhead.
“We achieved a lot in those first few years and the first time I was there I fell in love with the club anyway,” said Devonshire this week.
“I don’t think the club had won anything for years and we had some good days out, got to cup finals and won promotion. I always thought that I’d come back one day. People say you should never go back but I hope I’ve proved that wrong. We’re moving in the right direction again, doing what we’re doing, and hopefully we can get what we’re after.”
Last season the Magpies enjoyed a magnificent FA Cup run under Dev, reaching the first round proper and taking League 1 side Port Vale to a replay in front of a packed out York Road and the BT Sport cameras.
The Magpies finished the season in seventh, just outside of the play-offs, but it represented their second highest ever finish to a campaign.
The three points at Stortford means they’ll better that this season with a best ever finish of fifth or above, however, all eyes are fixed on the National League South title with the club leading rivals Ebbsfleet United by three points with just five matches to go.
Maidenhead’s record under Dev’s sole management of the club, up to and including Saturday’s 5-1 win over Bath City, means they’ve played 443, won 203, drawn 96 and lost 144. Goals for massively outweigh the goals against tally with the Magpies having scored 716 under Dev and conceded just 534.
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