Thursday 10th May 2021
Maidenhead Town 1 Wraysbury Village 2
The Stags kept up that winning mentality with a hard-fought win against Maidenhead Town on a Wembley replica pitch.
Matt Andrews made his first appearance for us this calendar year and popped up with two important goals, it was like he hadn’t been away.
With this being the second game in two days, changes were made due to work commitments and general changes to keep everyone fresh.
The main changes from Saturday’s win over Mortimer was Sam Sillah returning in the back three with Ollie Pitt moving to wing-back. Ben Landi was back in the starting line-up in place of Josh Christopher who dropped to the bench. Mitch Dunstall and Cristiano Nascimento also dropped to the bench and in came Stan Anum and Matt Andrews, making his first appearance since December.
Tonights opponents play their home games at Bisham Abbey, home to Sport England, and once home to the England National football teams training ground meaning the quality of the pitch was of a professional standard. The pitch certainly worked for us meaning we could get the down down and pass more along the floor without fearing the ball catching a bobble or divert.
But two games in two days was taking its toll on a lot of our players, 12 minutes in and Sam Sillah was replaced by Nascimento after rolling his ankle, although he did manage to run it off and came back on after half hour for Mark Sangster, who had worn out his batteries after his MOM performance on Saturday.
The first goal came after 17 minutes, the build up was missed by many on the sidelines but saw enough to catch Matt Andrews stabbing the ball home. Welcome back ‘Redder’! Maidenhead got an equaliser on 32 minutes from a corner but we retook the lead just four minutes later when Homes slotted Andrews through to lift it over the keeper into the corner. Half-time, we lead 2-1.
The second half was similar to the one on Saturday, where we had a number of chances to kill the game off but just couldn’t get that third goal. There was some excellent one-touch football being played by us on the lush pitch leading up to these chances too. Only downside was the injuries that were stacking up. Alfie Fairhall pulled up on 54 minutes and was replaced by Mitch Dunstall, who himself pulled up with 6 minutes remaining with a Quad issue. Before he vacated the pitch, he could have got a goal himself after some great play, but couldn’t get his shot away early enough before being dispossessed. Tow goal hero Andrews came off on the hour mark for Christopher who was dominant in the midfield, dictating the play. Within the last 10 minutes, Currell came on up top again for the injured Dunstall and Mathew Hursey made an appearance replacing Landi, who himself came back on in added time for Anum who worked so hard tonight he withdrew with severe cramp.
Maidenhead couldn’t break down our defence again to get another equaliser and the game finished at 2-1.
Another 3 points closer to the top, and with news coming that Berks County had dropped points at home, we found ourselves just a point off the leaders. It was getting tight between the top three and our confidence is growing stronger as we hope to defy our doubters as genuine title contenders.
Man of the Match went to Stan Anum for is excellent work rate up top and link up play with Andrews. Deserved a goal to top it all off.
The Stags (3-5-2): Bonnett (c); Sillah (Nascimento 12), Dewhurst, Sangster (Sillah 28); Fairhall (Dunstall 54) (Currell 84), Landi (Hursey 82) Homes, Sumner, Pitt; Anum (Landi 90), Andrews (Christopher 60).
Goalscorers: Andrews 17, 36.