Ashley Nathaniel-George. Credit: Maidenhead United FC
York City 1, Maidenhead United 2
Maidenhead United gave their survival hopes a massive shot in the arm with a 2-1 victory at York City this afternoon, a result that leaves their season intriguingly poised, with the side now seven points off the play-off places and seven points off the bottom four.
United fully deserved this win, managing the game well after taking the lead in the first half through Ashley Nathaniel-George’s close-range finish and then adding to it in the second half through Cole Kpekawa’s deflected free-kick.
John-Lewis pulled a goal back for the home side with around 15 minutes to play, but the visitors held on for their ninth league win of the season and their first three points since November 19.
This win has been a long time coming for the Magpies, however, despite going seven league matches without a victory they’ve managed to keep their noses above the relegation battle.
They headed to the LNER Community Stadium seven points clear of the drop zone – and maintained that relatively healthy gap with this victory – however, nerves may well have been shredded had they not picked up three points in York, with Torquay United and Gateshead both picking up crucial wins.
United took the lead in the 39th minute after an even start to the contest. It was their academy product, Reece Smith that set up Nathaniel-George’s near post finish, shrugging off his marker to get to the byline before pulling the ball back for his teammate to sweep home. It gave the Magpies a precious lead at the break and something to hold onto throughout the second half.
Smith had a hand in United’s second on the hour mark as well. Tapping a free kick back for Kpekawa to lash home via a slight deflection which may have fooled the City keeper.
The visitors saw out the game reasonably well, despite conceding in the 76th minute. Manny Duku created it, flicking the ball on for John-Lewis who brought the ball down well before poking it beyond Alexis Andre Jr.
Just over 4,000 fans saw the game and they made their feelings and dissatisfaction known to the Minstermen board in the closing stages.
The result sees the Magpies move onto 32 points alongside York City, ahead of next Saturday’s away game at sixth-placed Bromley.
Before that they’ll take on Marlow for a place in the quarter-final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup at York Road on Tuesday evening.