06:22PM, Saturday 10 April 2021
Photo: Darren Woolley
Maidenhead United 0, Barnet 0
Despite dominating possession and creating the game’s better chances, Maidenhead United failed to breakdown a resilient and hard-working Barnet side at York Road this afternoon.
Ahead of kick-off the Bees sat bottom of the National League table with only 13 points to their name, but they chased, harried, and hassled the Magpies all afternoon to earn their first clean sheet since December 5 when they held Wealdstone at home in another stalemate.
It’s the Magpies fourth league game without a victory and it leaves them 10 points off the play-offs ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Stockport County.
Unsurprisingly, Maidenhead had the better of the game’s few chances, and it’s likely this would have been a much more comfortable afternoon for them had they been able to get their noses in front.
The best of them fell to Danilo Orsi-Dadomo, who really should have fired the home side ahead in the first half.
In the opening minutes his attempted lob drifted wide of Aymen Azaze’s goal. Then on the half hour he was sent clean through by Sam Barratt’s quick-thinking from a throw in. However, his attempt to place the ball past Azaze was hesitant and the keeper pulled off a fine save.
In between times Rohan Ince, who returned to the side after picking up an injury while on international duty with Montserrat, pinged a lovely volley inches wide.
JJ Hooper fluffed a decent chance for the visitors in the 26th minute when he failed to get hold of a volley from Alex McQueen’s cut back.
The game became even scrappier after the interval. Defender George Wells dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box after the ball sat up invitingly for him from a corner. Orsi-Dadomo then had the ball in the net with a neat finish from Nathan Blissett’s flick in the 59th minute, but the linesman’s flag cut short his celebrations.
Maidenhead’s players grew increasingly irritated by their inability to turn possession into chances, but they were spared a fourth-straight defeat thanks to Taye Ashby-Hammond’s smothering save from Hooper, who was played through by Ephron Mason-Clark in the 86th minute.
The hosts piled forward in the closing stages to little avail as the Bees put bodies on the line to preserve their point.
Blissett also picked up a nasty looking injury late on, clattering into the hoardings behind the goal after challenging for a header.
The Magpies came into this game off the back of three successive defeats, but this doesn’t feel like a solid step in the right direction, despite keeping a first clean sheet in five matches. They remain 14th, 10 points adrift of Halifax Town in seventh.
Following discussions between both clubs Maidenhead’s trip to Yeovil Town this Tuesday has been postponed. They’ll return to action at Stockport on Saturday.
Barnet’s first team coach Simon Bassey said afterwards: “A lot of questions have been asked of the group, but you can’t fault their character today.
“We’ve had two days training and there’s a lot of stuff to do, but we’ve made a good start today.
“You’ve seen a team out there who worked hard, who were committed, who played for the badge, and a team that were together. They had to be all that or it would have been a difficult afternoon.”
Magpies boss Alan Devonshire added: “We lacked the quality going forward. We have the players with that quality, they’ve shown that this year, today, we weren’t good enough. But we’ve had a clean sheet and you’ve got to give credit to Barnet, they’ve had their new coaches come in, a couple of new players. They did alright, but we’ve not been good enough and we’ve got to get better.”
Maidenhead United (4-4-2): Ashby-Hammond 7’; Wells 7’, Massey 7’, Parry 7’, Clerima 7’ (Sheckleford 78’ 6’); Ince 8’, Upward 7’, Sparkes 6’ (Kelly 78’ 7’), Barratt 6’; Blissett 7’, Orsi-Dadomo 6. Subs not used: Wiltshire, Twumasi, Egan.
Barnet (4-5-1): Azaze 8’; Beard 8’ (Nugent 90’), Daly 8’, Preston 8’, Vaughan 8’; Taylor 6’, Kefalas 6’, Sheffington 7’, Mason-Clark 7’, McQueen 6’; Hooper 6. Subs not used:Callan, Faal, McBurnie, Adeloye.