JIM LIFTS SHOTS IN SIX-GOAL THRILLER
Brace seals point for visitors after Magpies battle back
VERDICT: A fantastic game which deservedly ended honours even. Aldershot carried the greater threat in the first half but were more than matched in the second by Alan Devonshire’s Magpies
MAIDENHEAD United and Aldershot Town served up an excellent advert for National League football on NonLeague Day with two-goal Jim Kellermann rescuing a last-gasp point for Gary Waddock’s men.
The Magpies were looking for a response after Tuesday night’s horror show at Torquay United, and manager Alan Devonshire will have been delighted by the performance, if not entirely satisfied with the result at York Road.
His part-time side once again showed tremendous character to battle back from a 2-1 half-time deficit to take the lead through Harry Pritchard’s penalty with a few minutes remaining.
It looked as though they’d hold on for a fourth home win in a row, but, with the Shots piling bodies forward and the clock ticking on into stoppage time, the ball fell kindly for Kellermann on the edge of the box and he guided it into the back of Carl Pentney’s net off the post.
Manny Oyeleke and Harry Pritchard fired over as the two sides exchanged presentable chances early on, before the visitors edged in front on 17 minutes when Evans’ diagonal ball forward was headed by Scott Rendell into the path of Kellermann, who slotted past Pentney.
Their lead lasted all of 60 seconds before being cancelled out by Adrian Clifton’s well-taken strike; the midfielder turned striker losing his man before lifting a lovely left-footed shot over the onrushing Cole from Pritchard’s pass.
The Shots retook the lead three minutes before half-time when the Magpies were opened up on the right and Fabien Robert crossed for Adam McDonnell to head past Pentney from close range.
United might have been trailing at the break, but they weren’t out of the contest by a long shot and they levelled in the 63rd minute when half-time substitute Dean Inman rose
well to loop a backward header over Cole and into the net from Pritchard’s throw.
It looked like the Magpies had been presented with all three points when Inman’s header struck a hand in the box and Pritchard thumped the ball low past Cole from the spot in the 87th minute.
But, willed on by a noisy, vociferous away end the Shots came again and, when Max Kilman could only partially clear a cross, Kellermann smashed the ball into the turf and in off the post from the edge of the box.
“We defended poorly,” said Devonshire after the game. “That’s why I made the change at half-time and I felt that in the second half we dominated. Once we got 3-2 up I couldn’t see them scoring.
“The ball ricocheted and fell for him (Kellermann) on the edge of the box. We should have done better, but I’m not going to lay into them. We’ve got a 3-3 draw against a good side and maybe could have won it.”
Waddock reflected: “We ended up chasing it when I thought we were in a fairly comfortable position. You have to give great credit to Maidenhead, the way they continued to play on the front foot and battle away.
“But to get ourselves in a good position and to then have to chase it , everyone will say that it’s good character from the players to keep chasing, but I wanted to win it.”
IT’S FRANTIC! Jim Kellermann opens the scoring for the Shots while Harry Pritchard celebrates, inset top, after scoring Maidenhead’s third goal, inset bottom