Maidenhead Boxing Day Preview

Maidenhead United v Aldershot Town Match Preview – Wed 26th December 2018 – 12:30PM KO

Having picked up a hard-earned point with a goalless draw at home to high-flying Wrexham on Saturday, Aldershot Town’s next festive fixture sees them making the relatively short trip to York Road, home of Maidenhead United on Boxing Day. The game will kick off at 12:30pm. BBC Surrey Sport’s Rob Worrall previews the game:

Shots Squad:
For the first time in several weeks, Shots boss Gary Waddock had a full bench at the weekend, with sixteen fit players to choose his starting eleven from. New signing Alex Finney made his Town debut, alongside skipper Karleigh Osborne in the centre of defence. Marvin McCoy and Adam McDonnell also returned to the team following injury. Matt McClure –still troubled by a shoulder problem – also managed to start, in what was his 101st Shots appearance.

Name: Maidenhead United
Founded: 1870
Nickname: The Magpies
Manager: Alan Devonshire
Stadium: Yok Road
2017/18 National League position: 12th

Brief History:
Senior football in Maidenhead came about in October 1870 when Maidenhead Football Club were formed, with the club playing their first match at York Road in February 1871. The ‘United’ part of their name was added in August 1920, just as the freehold to York Road was bought for £1,450 from William Grenfell, later known as Lord Desborough. In 2004 they became an inaugural member of the new Conference South division, only to be relegated in that first season. They did, however, bounce back up at the first attempt the following season via the play-offs. In 2016-17, The Magpies won the (now renamed) National League South, earning 98 points along the way to take their place in the top tier of Non-League. They finished 12th in their first season at this level.

The Gaffer:
Magpies boss Alan Devonshire is an experienced manager who is currently undergoing his second spell at the club. He began life in football at non-league Southall before he was picked up by West Ham United. With the Hammers, he spent 14 years between 1976 and 1990. After over 350 appearances with the club he departed for the final two years of his playing career at Second Division Watford. In 1996, he took charge of Maidenhead United and had a successful reign at the club. He won promotion from the Isthmian League Division One in 2000 and won 4 Berks & Bucks Senior Cups. He also won the Isthmian Full Members Cup (1997) and made the 2000 Isthmian League Cup Final. He moved on to Hampton & Richmond in 2003 for eight years where he reached the FA Cup First Round proper, finished runners-up in the Conference South (2009) but lost in the play-offs. Previously, he won promotion from the Isthmian League Division One South & the Isthmian Premier Division (2007). Devonshire took over as Braintree manager in May 2011 as they ventured into the National League for the first time. He spent four seasons with the Iron, remarkably taking his part-time side to the Conference Play-Off semi-final, prior to re-joining Maidenhead in 2015. Two years later he steered them to the National League South title and a twelfth-place finish in their first season in the National League.

Playing Squad:
Devonshire rebuilt his Magpies squad in the summer, for their second assault at the top tier of Non-League. He kept 12 players from last season’s squad, including keeper Carl Pentney, defender Alan Massey, midfielder Ryan Upward and strikers Josh Kelly (5 goals this season) and Adrian Clifton (6 goals to date). Key departures included Winger Sam Barrett (Sotuhend United) and Harry Pritchard (Blackpool).

Incoming players included Eastleigh defender Ayo Obileye, Brnetford Winger Herson Alves and strikers Ryan Bird (Dover) and James Akintunde (Chester). With his team currently struggling at the wrong end of the National League table, Devonshire has recently brought in a former Magpie, the prolific Dave Tarpey, on loan from Barnet.

Boxing Day’s referee is Savvas Yianni, who has taken the middle in 7 matches this season to date, showing 17 yellow cards and 1 red card to date. He recently took charge of The Shots 2-0 home defeat to Barrow.

BBC Surrey Sports Rob Worrall and former Shots player & manager Ian McDonald will be covering the game live on Boxing Day. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 12:20pm for full match commentary. To interact with them, tweet @RobShot66.