Match Report: Maidenhead United 1-1 Grimsby Town – News
Grimsby Town extended their unbeaten start to the season to seven games, although they were held to a 1-1 draw by Maidenhead United at York Road.
In the first-ever league meeting between the two teams, the Mariners took the lead thanks to Erico Sousa in the 73rd minute.
But they failed to maintain their advantage in Berkshire as Kane Ferdinand equalized 10 minutes later to earn the hosts a point.
Giles Coke and John McAtee both returned to the starting lineup after being excluded from the XI for last week’s home win over Eastleigh. They replaced Ben Fox and Will Bapaga, both of whom fell back on the bench.
James McKeown started in goal, with Michee Efete, Luke Waterfall, Ryley Towler and Adam Crookes selected again in defense. Sousa, Coke, Alex Hunt and Harry Clifton were the midfielders, with McAtee supporting Ryan Taylor in attack.
Fox and Bapaga were joined among the substitutes by Seb Revan, Shaun Pearson and Lenell John-Lewis.
Maidenhead was looking to stop a four-game losing streak in the National League, the last of which was a 1-0 loss to Notts County last Saturday. Alan Devonshire’s men, however, won their first two games of the campaign against Halifax and Dover.
Backed by another magnificent away call from 828, Town started well and won a corner kick in the first minute, but Hunt’s delivery was led flawlessly by Sam Barratt. The visitors retained possession, however, and an effort from McAtee’s edge of the box was claimed on the second attempt by goalkeeper Rhys Lovett.
A five-minute Hunt free kick was cleared and then the home side’s first opening saw McKeown called into action to kick the ball away from Ryan Upward after he was thrown through the penalty area by forward Emile Acquah.
Towler’s foul on Ferdinand gave Maidenhead a free kick in a dangerous position in the 10th minute, but they failed to make it count as Charlee Adams’ strike hit the city wall and bounced back into the corner, run by Waterfall.
McKeown came down to stop Adams’ low shot five minutes later, before Acquah missed the mark with a free header after meeting a Barratt cross.
Another corner came in in the 22nd minute when a cross was blocked by Efete. The ball from it was headed behind by Waterfall and this time the resulting flag kick was erased.
Shaun Donnellan shot over the bar from the edge of the box halfway through halftime as the hosts continued to make most of the attacks.
Taylor suffered a foul shortly after to give Town a free kick in Maidenhead’s half, although they couldn’t create any real danger.
A long-range effort from McAtee was far off target and then Adams shot wide at the other end as both teams looked for openings after what had been a rambling half hour of opening.
A run from Efete led to a Grimsby corner in the 33rd minute and the right-back took the lead in Hunt’s delivery from the flag but could only steer the ball over the bar.
Town was now starting to gain the upper hand and another opportunity presented itself shortly thereafter, with Taylor turning a cross from Sousa off the near post.
Towler was the next to have a shot chance after a Hunt free kick was abandoned for him inside the box, although his effort was comfortably stopped by Lovett.
Donnellan was given the first yellow card of the afternoon in the 39th minute for pushing the ball away from Clifton as he prepared to make a throw-in.
Town continued to attack and a shot from Sousa was blocked, before a ball towards Taylor was deflected for a corner. Towler’s header from Hunt’s delivery was knocked down by the keeper for another corner but this time the ball was cleared.
A Clifton cross was cleared by Alan Massey, then McAtee looked for Taylor with another ball in the box but could only find goalkeeper Lovett.
McAtee suffered a foul in Maidenhead’s half of the field in the 43rd minute, but Towler was unable to score Hunt’s free kick after slipping away at the far post.
Two more minutes were played at the end of half time and midfielder Josh Kelly shot over the bar at the end of a hosts break after Sousa lost the ball.
No other opportunity presented itself before the referee’s whistle at half-time, meaning the scores remained even at the break.
No changes were made before the restart and an early cross from Crookes went for a goal kick after Taylor couldn’t reach it.
The home side won the first corner of the half, but Clifton took care of it. This turned out to be the start of a period of pressure from Maidenhead which also saw a loosening for Town as McKeown picked up what appeared to be a back pass from Efete.
A high ball into Barratt’s box was well claimed by McKeown, before a Sam Beckwith cross was wiped out as the hosts continued to ask questions.
At the other end, Coke released a shot from the edge of the penalty area which was saved by Lovett.
A free kick from Donnellan was handled by Waterfall, but the hosts kept the ball until a cross came out for a goal kick.
A McAtee cross was blocked for a corner in the 59th minute and from there the ball finally returned to Hunt and his strike produced a good save for Lovett.
Another corner soon after led Waterfall to kick over the bar, before a Clifton attempt was held up by the keeper.
Maidenhead made the first substitution in the 65th minute when Kelly was replaced by Reece Smith, before Acquah hit a weak shot that was comfortably stopped by McKeown.
Fox replaced Hunt in the Town in midfield shortly after, and then Waterfall was warned for a push on Acquah which also gave the home side a free kick in a dangerous position on the left. Adams’ shot was no problem as the ball hit the roof of the stand behind the goal.
Maidenhead increased the pressure as the Mariners were forced into a defensive spell around the 70-minute mark.
But when the first goal finally came in the 73rd minute, it was the visitors who made the breakthrough. Clifton came down to the right and after a pass exchange with Efete he sent a ball to the far post for SOUSA to pass Lovett and into the net.
Adams was replaced by Nathan Blissett as the home side looked to respond to a delay, then Pearson came in for Sousa in the Mariners’ blue as they aimed to hold onto their lead.
Dylan Asonganyi was the third and last Maidenhead replacement to leave the bench as he replaced Acquah on offense for the final 11 minutes.
And the hosts were back on level four minutes later, when a ball in the box was greeted by FERDINAND and his header passed McKeown to bring the score to 1-1.
A cross from Asonganyi was claimed by McKeown, before Waterfall flew over the bar at the other end after encountering a cross from Efete.
John-Lewis was sent in for Coke as the game stretched into an extra four minutes, with both teams chasing a winning goal.
But that crucial third goal of the game was not to come as the Mariners’ four-game winning streak came to an end, although they remain unbeaten in seven games so far this season and are now posting their best league start since 1982.
Town will be next in action on Tuesday, when they travel to Bromley.