The Beachboys kept up their impressive recent form with a fine 2-0 victory over a hardworking Maidenhead side last night.
Concord came into the game on the back of three victories, whilst Maidenhead had equally good form…but it was the Beachboys who started the game off on the front front. After seven minutes Sam Bantick who was in for the injured Joe Gardner, cut in from the left hand side onto his right foot and curled a peach of a right foot strike against the Maidenhead post…Pentney in the Maidenhead goal, just stood and watched he was helpless. It was a great strike and deserved better…Bantick all night was a threat to the Maidenhead defence with his direct running at speed. The Beachboys had started the game confidently and were zipping the ball about on the wet surface with great authority and it seemed in the opening ten minutes that they could prise open the Maidenhead defence at will. The captain James White strode onto a loose clearance outside the Maidenhead box on eight minutes and tried to steer the ball past Pentney, but the keeper was equal to the task and diverted the shot wide. Maidenhead though are a strong outfit, and they gradually worked their way back into the game as the half wore on. Concord were still on top playing the better football, but through Jake Reid up front Maidenhead were reminding the Beachboys that they were still a threat.
Concord were unfortunate not to break the Maidenhead offside trap on several occasions, Steve Cawley and Lewis Taaffe were halted by the linesmen flag when through on goal. They certainly were tight calls, and the linesman copped an earful from the home supporters throughout the first half. Into the forty-second minute and Concord’s dominance finally paid off. The offside trap was sprung and Ben Greenhalgh was in down the right hand channel…now you don’t let Ben cut in. That’s what he want’s to do. He’s dying to do it. The Maidenhead defender didn’t know this…he let Ben cut in to that wand of a left foot. BOSH! Bottom corner 1-0 The Beachboys!
Concord Rangers 1 Maidenhead 0
As the second half got underway the rain lashed down at the Aspect Arena, the pitch was getting cut up and both sides knew it would be an attritional second half, Maidenhead had certainly rolled their sleeves up after the break, as in the first half they had not played like a side who were sitting high in the form table. The second half exploded into life in the fifty-first minute…John Easterford cleared a Maidenhead free kick spectacularly away from under his own cross bar, and then Concord broke…and they broke fast. Steve Cawley and Ben Greenhalgh were in two onto one Maidenhead defender…a little 1-2 and Greenhalgh was through one on one…he gave Pentney the eyes, but the Maidenhead keeper was solid and saved well. A golden chance for the Beachboys had gone begging. However this miss galvanised Concord and they swept forward time and time again in the next ten minutes, on fifty-four minutes White struck a fierce drive from a corner which was deflected over the top….Bantick’s shot was smothered by Pentney on fifty-seven minutes and Lewis Taaffe fired just over on fifty-nine minutes. Somehow Maidenhead had survived the Concord storm. As the half wore on, were Concord going to be made to pay for those missed chances? Maidenhead were physical and began dominating the game territorially but they could not breach the Concord defence. It wasn’t pretty at times, but Hammond, Easterford, Bailey-Dennis and Stephen were blocking and clearing every Maidenhead attack and getting the job done. If Maidenhead did squeeze out a shot, McNamara in the Beachboys goal was dealing with everything confidently and effectively. Into the final five minutes and each and every Concord player had covered every blade of grass on the pitch, it had been a fantastic effort but they still only had a one goal lead. Maidenhead pressed and pressed, Concord cleared and cleared. Jordan Cox who had come on for Steve Cawley proved a great outlet with his pace and strength and held the ball up to wind the clock down. Into the final seconds and Concord broke, as Maidenhead gambled. Ben Greenhalgh stretched his legs, he knew he could beat the tiring Maidenhead defence…he strode into the penalty area and struck a shot which Pentney saved but could only divert back to Greenhalgh who headed the rebound home. The Beachboys had done it, it was 2-0 and fully deserved.
The final whistle blew and every Concord player could be proud of the effort they put in, it was a tremendous performance and result.
Concord Rangers 2 (Greenhalgh 42,94mins)
McNamara,Hammond,Stephen,Easterford (off 76mins King),Bailey-Dennis;Dowie,White,Bantick (off 68mins Cornhill),Taaffe;Greenhalgh,Cawley (off 85mins Cox)
Subs Not Used: Gardner, Ranger