Maidenhead step into play-offs after deserved win at Sutton

Sutton United 0-2 Maidenhead United

Sam Barratt was the star of the show as Maidenhead United took a deserved three points back to Berkshire after seeing off in-form Sutton United at the Knights Community Stadium.

The hosts went into the game in top spot, but struggled to cope with the vibrancy of the visitors.

In a game of relatively few clear-cut chances, the deadlock was broken when Barratt’s free-kick was bundled home after 73 minutes by Ryan Upward.

Alan Devonshire’s side wrapped up the three points when Harold Odametey embarked on a marauding run down the right wing before sliding the ball past Jamie Butler.

Maidenhead had endured a frustrating week, losing 1-0 at home to Leyton Orient before losing star striker Dave Tarpey to Barnet.

Last season’s National League South champions were the first to test the keeper, with James Comley unleashing a rasping drive which stung the palms of Butler.

Sutton then almost opened the scoring when Josh Taylor flicked the ball around the corner to Tommy Wright, who hammered a half-volley from distance just wide.

The half-chances continued to come and go, as both teams worried each other’s defence but struggled to find that clinical edge.

Barratt was the game’s brightest spark and on 32 minutes whipped on a vicious delivery, but Harry Pritchard’s desperate slide was not enough to apply the finishing touch.

Both sides continued to probe, with Aswad Thomas heading over a chipped delivery from Moses Emmanuel, before Pritchard’s low drive from Odametey’s low centre was blocked heroically by Nicky Bailey.

The early stages of the second half were lacklustre and it looked as if the match would trundle to a goalless conclusion.

Kenny Davis had been introduced at the interval and the summer signing from Boreham Wood almost sent the crowd into raptures with a powerful shot that whistled over the bar.

Barratt continued to show why he had played for Reading’s youth team as he flew past Bailey and Louis John and threw in a step over, but he did not trouble Butler.

However, the 21-year-old soon finally had some joy, with his set-piece leading to panic stations in the Sutton defence and allowing Upward to get on the scoresheet.

This spurred the south Londoners into a response, with Kieron Cadogan knocking the ball over the heads of the Maidenhead backline for Craig Dundas to chase.

The striker rounded Craig Pentney, knocking the keeper over in the process. However, he could not get the shot out of his feet.

Pentney was subsequently treated for several minutes, leading to accusations of gamesmanship from the Sutton fans.

The hosts continued to press in an attempt to salvage a point, with crosses bombarding the Maidenhead box without a finishing touch being applied.

However, they were made to pay in the second minute of stoppage time when Odametey picked up the ball close to the halfway line and went on a rampaging run before guiding his effort into the bottom left-hand corner past Butler.

Following their victory, the Magpies rose to seventh, while Sutton fell from the summit to fourth and both sides will look to push towards the automatic promotion place when they face Halifax and Gateshead respectively next weekend.

 

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