The Evo-Stik League South
Match Report



Maidenhead have found themselves in a position similar to our own this season, capable of beating any teams on their day, but lacking consistency in results. With both teams sitting comfortably in midfield, this game had all the makings of a scrappy draw...And so it proved. The Ducks welcomed back Fiston Manuella, returning from suspension to replace the unfortunate Rory Hunter. Richard Horner started again at centre-back.

The game started quietly, with chances few and far between. Some tricky play from Yaku called for a superb saving tackle from Greg Williams. Premiership reject Mark Nicholls took the ball down well, but his early volley was hit wide. The Ducks first 'chance' didn't come until 10 minutes were on the clock. A Maidenhead defender was forced to make a backpass, which very nearly crept through Magpies keeper Barnard's legs.

Aylesbury should have had a penalty two minutes later, as a Maskell cross was bounced basketball style by a defender, but the referee waved away the protests. Bangura headed the ball wide from 6 yards soon after.

The game continued, with neither side creating much in the way of chances. Adam Wheeler found himself floored by one of his own players, and a Maidenhead forward put the rebounded ball wide with the net empty. From a corner soon after, a tame shot was easily held by United's number 1.

The Ducks' best chance of the half came as Bangura played a delightful through ball for the onrushing Adam Campion. Unfortunately he took the ball one step too far, and his shot was straight at the keeper. Joe Baker had a chance, as his pacey run across the box resulted in him attempting to chip the keeper, but the ball was always going over. The Ducks were now enjoying their best spell of the game so far, and a nice piece of play by Maskell on the right wing allowed him to cross a low ball to Greg Williams. Unfortunately, his first touch took the ball away from him, and into the waiting keepers hands.

Two minutes later, and the moment no-one was expecting, as Wheeler had to leave the field. A header from Maidenhead's oaf of a midfielder dropped against the post. However, Wheeler dived ackwardly, and in the process damaged his shoulder. After an what seemed an eternity, it was decided he could no longer continue the game, and was taken to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder. With no keeper on the Ducks bench, step forward Greg Williams.

With the anticipation growing, with the appearance of leader in goal, the first half tamely fizzled out. The game became scrappy and, pretty much boring. A nice link-up between Campion and Maskell resulted in a corner, which came to nothing.

Half-time: 0-0

At the start of the second half, United were the (slightly) brighter team, and had a chance early on, as an excellent Campion cross was missed by the late arriving Risbridger. Three minutes later, and the keeper should have found himself in the book, as he decided to charge from his goal to meet Maskell, and bring him down on the byline. The following free-kick caused nothing more than mild confusion.

A long-range free-kick from Maidenhead went wide, with Greg Williams enthusiastically diving to attempt a save. Bangura beat a defender, but scuffed a shot at goal soon after. By this point the game was dire, and barely a chance was being created. The visitors made a change, as Goss replaced Ashe, and the Ducks replaced Maskell with Ibe.

Maidenhead made more changes, as former Premiership striker Mark Nicholls made way for Steve Croxford, and Adrian Allen replaced the equally disappointing Yaku. Soon after a Magpie handball led to a quick free-kick, which was tamely headed by Risbridger, straight to the keeper. Risbridger had another chance two minutes later, as his weak left footed shot was easily stopped by Barnard.

Kezie Ibe's first meaningful contribution was to steel in between two defenders. Unfortunately he couldn't make a clean contact with the ball, and it trickled wide. As the game moved into the last 10 minutes, Roni Joe replaced Adam Campion, and Fiston talked his way into the book...

Greg Williams made an awesome save after 82 minutes, as a header was heading for the top corner. Leader somehow managed to extend a hand to it, and prove himself a worthy replacement for Wheelo. Kezie Ibe had the best chance of the game, with 5 minutes remaining, as he was put one on one with the keeper from a Baker through ball. Sadly, all Kezie's skill seemed to escape him, as he managed to trip over his feet, and the chance were good.

A few more goal attempts came and went before the game was over. Maidenhead fashioned their first proper chance, as an attacker found himself one on one with a full-back in goal, but unleashed a pathetic effort, which was easily saved. Gareth Risbridger found some more energy, to burst forward, before being hauled down just outside the box. From the free-kick, Kezie Ibe missed his header.

By the time the referee blew for full-time, most fans were pleased to be going home with a point. Neither team really looked like scoring, and 0-0 is probably a fair result.