Report - Maidenhead United 6-1 Oxford City
City hit for six as Maidenhead run riot
By Ryan Bratley
Three goals either side of half time saw table-topping Maidenhead United consign Oxford City to a humbling 6-1 defeat at York Road.
Substitute Jefferson Louis was able to give the travelling fans something to cheer about as he nodded home in the 87th minute, but the goal proved to be mere consolation.
Following a narrow defeat against East Thurrock on Saturday, Mark Jones named a largely unchanged side. The injury sustained by Jefferson Louis saw him drop to the bench, making way for Ezra Forde, whilst Reece Fleet returned in place of Jordy Ngathe.
The Hoops started brightly with Abiola-Daramola bursting through from midfield before being taken down by a cynical challenge. The resulting free kick was half cleared by the Maidenhead defence but a ball back into the box found Niate with the time and space for an ambitious shot on the turn which narrowly missed the top right corner.
Despite this early promise, City found themselves a goal down after just six minutes. A free kick was played short down the wing and the resulting cross found Dean Imann in the box to fire past Hill. It could have been two shortly after as Tarpey glanced a free header narrowly wide of the far post.
A shellshocked City slowly settled back into the game and could have clawed a goal back in the 18th minute as an incisive one-two between Forde and Fleet saw the latter get in behind the Maidenhead defence. Carl Pentney was quickly off his line to smother the midfielder's shot but could not avoid conceding a corner. Davies' in-swinging delivery found skipper Lee Henderson at the far post but his headed effort went narrowly wide.
Whilst City were still very much in the game at 1-0, The Magpies struck twice in three minutes to all-but seal the three points. First, Sean Marks' flick from a long throw found Tarpey who slammed home to make it 2-0 to the hosts. The league's top goalscorer then popped up again, this time tapping home from close range after James Mulley scythed through the City defence.
The Hoops came out for the start of the second half with a huge task at hand, but were dealt a severe blow in the 55th minute as Niate was forced off with an injury. Jordy Ngathe came on in his place with Davies filling in at centre half. Mark Jones also took the opportunity to introduce the experience of Jefferson Louis, Sami Khawaja the man to make way.
The fresh legs had only been on the pitch for two minutes when Maidenhead next struck. Davies did well to scramble away a near post cross and was unfortunate to see the loose ball fall kindly for Pritchard. The striker took the ball down confidently before driving a low shot into the far corner.
Trailing by four goals, Mark Jones' used his final substitution to bolster the attack – Kaiman Anderson replacing the lively Forde.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, Maidenhead once again demonstrated their ruthless streak as they struck for the fifth time. A free kick from the right wing sparked a game of head-tennis in the City box and it was Jordan Cox who eventually took control, guiding a neat header past Hill from close range.
With the game having long been beyond them, the continued efforts of the City attack eventually paid off. Anderson won a free kick on the right wing which was played down the line to Ngathe. The full-back's cross took a touch off of a defender before finding Louis unmarked at the far post. The big forward made no mistakes as he nodded home to put his side on the scoresheet.
It was however the Magpies who had the last laugh as a ball down the left channel coaxed Craig Hill off of his line, his poorly timed challenge resulting in a penalty. Jordan Cox stepped up to take the resulting penalty, sending Hill the wrong way to complete his side's convincing win.
Speaking after the game, manager Mark Jones struggled to find any positives in his side's performance:
“Obviously a very bad night for us tonight – it was a defensive horror-show. Our gameplan was to go there and play four at the back, five in midfield and keep it tight but you would never have thought that watching us play. Defensively we were very, very poor and if you go and concede goals like we did tonight you aren't going to do well against any opposition let alone the team who are top of the table.
We were well beaten tonight, we have to take our medicine. Nobody is giving up, we've got to work with the boys at the training ground on Thursday and the first thing we have to do on Saturday is try to stop conceding so many goals.
Its a lonely place to be when the goals are going in against you like that and we've taken a bit of a hammering. We've got to dust ourselves down and try to come back as strong as we can.”
Jones also hinted at potential changes to the line-up going into Saturday's home tie with Poole:
“Maybe we will have to look at bringing our more experienced players in on Saturday to try and tighten up and make sure we are solid.
We still need some points on the board – Gosport have won their last two games – so we need some wins to secure our position as a National league South side. We've still got work to do but we're determined to try and get it right with some big games coming up.”
Oxford City: Hill, Poku, Peake-Pijnen, Davis, Henderson, Niate (Ngathe 55'), Carvalho, Fleet, Forde (Anderson 68'), Abiola-Daramola, Khawaja (Louis 55')
Subs not used: Ngamvoulou, Tutton