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Maidstone United 1 Maidenhead United 1 match report

By Craig Tucker

A late equaliser denied Maidstone victory on the opening day of the National League season.

United were looking good for the points after Joe Pigott’s excellent second-half free-kick.

But Maidenhead snatched an equaliser when substitute Sam Barratt finished a corner in the 88th minute.

Joe Pigott fires Maidstone in front Picture Andy Jones

Joe Pigott fires Maidstone in front Picture: Andy Jones

Maidstone named four debutants with Joe Anderson at left-back, Josh Hare and Alex Finney pairing up in defence and Harley Willard lining up on the left wing.

United made an assured start against the National League new boys, Stuart Lewis and Reece Prestedge picking everything up in the middle and Jack Paxman getting on the ball in good areas while full-backs Anderson and Seth Twumasi got forward well.

A lovely move just before the 15-minute mark saw Lewis and Pigott combine to feed Willard, whose terrific strike from 20 yards hit the crossbar.

Maidstone celebrate Joe Pigott's opener Picture Andy Jones

Maidstone celebrate Joe Pigott's opener Picture: Andy Jones

The game entered a lull although there were a couple of half-chances for Maidenhead with Harold Odametey’s deflected strike easily held by Lee Worgan before Harry Pritchard hit the side-netting from distance.

The chance of the half came on 40 minutes when Willard played a lovely ball across the six-yard box for Sam-Yorke to slide on to but his effort went just wide.

Maidstone took the lead in the 51st minute.

Paxman was fouled centrally on the edge of the box and Pigott stepped up to bend a lovely strike into the top left-hand corner.

Pritchard worked Worgan with a free-kick at the other end but United almost made it two midway through the half when Pigott’s header from a Willard free-kick came back off the bar.

Jack Paxman works an opening for Maidstone Picture Andy Jones

Jack Paxman works an opening for Maidstone Picture: Andy Jones

Maidenhead nearly put through their own net under pressure from Pigott then a pass from the goalscorer, intended for Sam-Yorke, fell to substitute Tom Wraight, who probably should have scored.

As the rain returned, Wraight threw himself at Sam-Yorke’s cross, just missing a touch and ending up in the net, while a 20-yard Lewis strike tested keeper Carl Pentney.

Having looked in charge, United were rocked with two minutes left when a corner was headed home by Barratt.

Maidenhead might even have won it at the death, Worgan with a double save to deny them.

Maidstone: Worgan, Hare, Anderson, Hare, Finney, Paxman (Phipps 84mins), Lewis, Prestedge, Sam-Yorke, Pigott, Willard (Wraight 74mins). Subs not used: Wynter, Reason, Richards.

Attendance: 2,298.

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