22 March 2016

Maidenhead United 0, Truro City 0

Maidenhead United will be frustrated they failed to take their chances against their fourth-placed visitors from Cornwall, who were reduced to 10-men when Craig Duff was sent off early in the second half.  
United, who have moved to within four points of the play-offs, laid siege to the Truro goal in the final half hour, but they were kept at bay by City’s glovesman Martin Rice, who made a string of fine saves.
Rice, the undoubted man-of-the-match, pushed a low volley from Dave Tarpey onto the post in the 14th minute, and denied the Maidenhead front man on several other occasions in the second half.
Tarpey, who fired in all four of United’s goals in a 4-4 draw when the sides played in January, saw a firm header from Josh Huggins’ deep cross pawed out by Rice in the 67th minute.
The game’s golden chance also fell Tarpey’s way when he found himself clean through with seven minutes to play, but Rice managed to get a little nick on his left-footed shot to deflect it wide of the post.
The chances mounted up for the Magpies in the second half as Rene Steer, Huggins and Ben Wright all went close after Duff collected his second yellow card in the 55th minute for leading with his elbow in an aerial challenge with Ryan Upward.
Minutes after Duff’s dismissal, Huggins worked the ball well down the left and fired a firm shot that was beaten away by Rice, after the Magpies’ full-back played a neat one-two with Wright.
Left-back Rene Steer was the next Magpies’ player to chance his arm, this time with a dipping 30-yard effort that brushed Rice’s crossbar after Truro only partially cleared their lines in the 62nd minute.
Alan Devonshire brought on Jake Reid for Huggins as United went all out for the win against the 10-men, but they were repelled at every turn by City’s resilient defence and their unbeatable keeper.
Wright’s low shot from the edge of the box was gathered in close to his near post by Rice in the 65th minute, and the burly Maidenhead striker sent another left-footed effort looping just over after a knock-down from Reid.
Kieron Forbes, a long-term injury absentee for the Magpies, was thrust into the fray as the game entered its final stages, and it was his low shot that deflected into Tarpey’s path for the game’s best chance.
The United striker was quick to seize upon the opportunity, but Rice was out quickly and managed to touch his shot wide of the post, leaving the Magpies supporters, banked up behind the Bell Street End goal, with their heads in their hands.
United, compact and resolute throughout, with Mark Nisbet stepping in for the suspended Alan Massey, restricted their visitors to very few opportunities. The best of them came in the opening minutes of the first half and the closing stages of the second.
Ollie Knowles almost caught out Carl Pentney with a bending free-kick in the third minute, but it flashed wide of the goal, and then with four minutes to play the 10-men almost snatched what would have been an undeserved winner when Jamie Richards headed Knowles’ corner just wide.
The final whistle came a bit too soon for the Magpies who will feel they should have taken one of their second half chances and gained more ground on the top five. However, results elsewhere went their way and they’ve risen to seventh in the table, and four points off a play-off position. City remain in fourth-place and will have been mightily relieved to have escaped York Road with a point.
Attendance: 517
Maidenhead United: Pentney, Huggins (Reid 76), Steer, Upward, Nisbet, Inman, Mulley (c) (Forbes 82), Comley, Tarpey, Wright, Pritchard. Subs not used: Barratt, Smith, Wiltshire.
Truro City: Rice, Dawson, Riley-Lowe, Adelsbury, (Jay 64), Richards, Pugh (c), Knowles, Green, Duff, Vassell (Afful 70), Cooke. Subs not used: Ash, White, Brett.

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