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Match Reports

Maidenhead 0-1 Notts

Home play-off secured

15 May 2022

We secured fifth place in the National League with a dominant victory over Maidenhead United.

Having endured a frustrating first half, Cal Roberts lashed home an emphatic second-half penalty to seal the points.

Ian Burchnall made one change to the side that coasted past Altrincham last weekend as skipper Kyle Cameron, who made his long-awaited return from injury off the bench in that game, took his place alongside Alex Lacey and Richard Brindley in a back three.

Adam Chicksen was left out as a precaution and is not expected to be a doubt for the play-offs.

Roberts continued in his midfield role and had a glorious opportunity to give us the lead on 13 minutes when Ruben Rodrigues supplied the perfect through ball to send him one-on-one with Dan Gyollai. The Geordie gave the keeper the eyes but dragged his low shot wide of the post.

The former Blyth Spartans man sought to make amends two minutes later by playing a teasing cross into the middle for Kyle Wootton, but he could only head the ball over under pressure from a defender six yards out.

It had been a dominant start and, barring a long-range Charlee Adams effort which went wide of the post, there had been little to concern Sam Slocombe and his back line who, on 18 minutes, could only watch on as Matt Palmer’s excellent cross was deftly touched goalwards by Roberts only for Gyollai to make a superb save.

And Roberts’ frustrations were twice compounded before the break, firstly George Wells making a terrific last-ditch challenge to prevent him from racing clear once again before, seven minutes later, his shot from inside the area was diverted wide.

We emerged for the second half unchanged and the hosts created a couple of opportunities after play resumed, Shawn McCoulsky firing a shot straight at Slocombe and Matt Palmer having to slide in to make an important block to deny Shaun Donnellan.

Adams sent a well-struck effort over the bar from the resultant corner and, shortly afterwards, Burchnall made two pre-planned changes as the two Kyles, Wootton and Cameron, made way for Elisha Sam and Connell Rawlinson.

Roberts was having a quieter half but sprang into life on 68 minutes when he raced on to Palmer’s excellent pass and was scythed down by Alan Massey on the edge of the area.

And he went one better three minutes later when he nipped in ahead of a defender inside the area to win a penalty, which he duly dispatched straight down the middle to put us ahead.

That proved to be Roberts’ final action of note as he left the field in place of Zak Brunt and, but for a Nathan Blissett shot which was dragged wide and a Rodrigues free-kick which hit the wall, there was little else to report on a good afternoon in Berkshire.

We will host Grimsby Town in a play-off eliminator match on Monday 23 May (3pm). Click here for ticket details.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron (Rawlinson 66'), Lacey, Brindley; Kelly-Evans, Richardson; Palmer, O'Brien, Roberts (Brunt 76'); Rodrigues, Wootton (Sam 66')

SUBS: Taylor, Francis

BOOKINGS: Wootton 54', Roberts 59', O'Brien 76', Richardson 80'

ATTENDANCE: 2,074


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