Football in Berkshire
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Maidenhead United start with a win in Vanarama National League

Shay Bottomley reports from Edgeley Park

Maidenhead United start with a win in Vanarama National League

Maidenhead United got off to a flying start in front of the BT Sport cameras on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over newly promoted Stockport County.

Josh Smile would set up the only goal of the game when his cross found Jake Cassidy who beat the County ‘keeper with a looping header.

Both sides had chances in a cagey first half, as neither side wished to concede first. Smile would come close to scoring with half an hour played, but his effort was well-contained by Hatters’ goalkeeper, Ben Hinchcliffe.

Some good set-piece defensive work from Ryan Upward and James Comley prevented the hosts from taking the lead, meaning the first 45 minutes would be goalless.

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The Magpies were the more dominant of the two sides after the break. Stockport’s chances were well taken care of by Joseph Ellul and Alan Massey in defence, and loan signing Tyler Ashby-Hammond stopped any chances that slipped through back four in between the sticks.

Remy Clerima, now playing in a right-midfield position, did well to open up the game with several promising crosses throughout the second half. Ultimately, the goal would come from the opposite side of the pitch, as Smile made a great run to deliver a ball that was headed superbly by Cassidy.

County’s best chance of the game would come just three minutes later. Frank Mulhern found himself one on one with Ashby-Hammond, but the ‘keeper got his fingertips to the ball. By the time the striker recovered possession, Ellul and Massey were on the goal line to prevent an equalizer.

The final whistle would blow meaning United were top of the National League for just under an hour. The travelling supporters would pay tribute to former kitman Jon Urry before leaving Edgeley Park with all three points.

Magpies: Ashby-Hammond, Clerima, Steer, Ellul, Comley (Whitehall, 88’), Cassidy (79’), Nana-Twumasi, Akintunde (Mensah, 73’), Upward, Massey ©, Smile (Davies, 84’)

Unused subs: Fenelon, Kelly

Hatters: Cowan, Dimaio (Osborne, 64’), Hinchcliffe, Keane, Kirby (Jackson, 84’) Minihan, Mulhern, Palmer, Thomas (Bell, 81’), Turnbull, Walker

Unused subs: Curran, Ormson

Attendance: 4626 (64)

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