Famous Five!

MAIDENHEAD UNITED v EASTLEIGH



SATURDAY 8th MARCH 2008
Blue Square South

By Ray Murphy


Maidenhead United will be glad to see the back of Eastleigh especially second half periods of matches, as for the second time in seven days, Maidenhead were torn apart by a solid Eastleigh second half performance.

The previous week had seen Maidenhead squander a two-goal lead to lose by the odd goal in five. For Eastleigh there was no such drama this time though after a scoreless first half the thoughts were switching to a hope of a single goal victory. Eastleigh welcomed midweek signings Jason Matthews and Ashley Vickers into the side and both gave solid performances.

As for Maidenhead they are nervously sitting on the edge of the relegation zone and having already been called in early by manager Johnson Hippolyte, the players remained in the changing room for a long time after the final whistle. The home sides preparations were not helped by the loss of striker Manny Williams during the warm up thus enforcing a late team sheet alteration.

The game was not for the purist. The ball spent large amounts of time in the air as Eastleigh started the game kicking up the slope. Paul Sales flashed a shot wide of the target on seven minutes and then on twenty minutes Andy Harris’ long throw was helped on by Sales and Andy Forbes planted a header on to the top of the net.

This signalled the home sides best period of the game. Jermaine Hinds should have done better with a free header from a Ashley Smith corner midway through the half not even hitting the target whilst Smith produced a low drive on thirty five minutes that saw Matthews scrambling down to his right to turn the ball away recovering to make another stop from Jon Hastings. The route one Maidenhead approach almost brought success for Maidenhead five minutes before the interval when Louis Wells drop kick fell for ex Eastleigh striker Carl Wilson-Denis but again Matthews was equal to the attempt. Forbes had another Eastleigh chance with a lofted shot over the keeper Wells but drifted the wrong side of the upright.

Eastleigh had all the ascendancy from the start of the second period. Sales glanced a header wide from a Forbes cross six minutes into the period, but Eastleigh didn’t finally break the deadlock until the fifty seventh minute. Forbes won Matthews’ long kick in the air on the edge of the Maidenhead box. The ball was too far forward for Sales to manage a shot but Karl Murray was running on to strike a shot from twenty five yards that flew past the wrong footed Wells and Eastleigh were ahead.

Forbes almost increased the lead four minutes later his header from a Sales cross coming back off the upright. Sixty-six minutes and Eastleigh added a second. Mark Marshall’s right wing cross was met by an attacking Forbes header to power the ball into the back of the net.

Sixty-eight minutes and Eastleigh added a third. With Wells way out of his goal, the quick thinking Sales planted an exquisite shot into the net from the angle of the box as Eastleigh now threatened a rout.

Forbes added his second of the afternoon on seventy three minutes heading home another Harris cross and Sales was almost on target again but his acrobatic overhead bicycle attempt was wide.

The final goal arrived ten minutes before time. Warren McBean had only been on the pitch for a minute when he arrived at the far post to nod home after Vickers had flicked on Harris’ long throw.

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