My despair at the result at Farnborough on Saturday looked set to influence my view of the game at York Road this afternoon, until a few cocky tweets from Ebbsfleet fans en route to the game stirred the blood enough to hope for a result to upset their promotion applecart.
Drax threw the dice one last time with his team selection, recalling Lanre Azeez, Reece Tison-Lascaris and Brett Longden in place of Harrys Grant and Pritchard, and Richard Pacquette. The impact of fresh legs into the team worked a treat from the kick off as Maidenhead took advantage of Ebbsfleet's initial strategy to sit back and attempt to hit the Magpies on the break.
The opening stages saw Maidenhead take the upper hand with Lanre Azeez forcing goalkeeper Preston Edwards into early action but a sign of things to come came in the sixteenth minute when the United custodian Jonathan Henly made the first of a string of good saves.
An open game then ensued with Danny Green forcing Edwards to push a shot wide, then Henly spilled a long range effort only to safely gather the loose ball before Ebbsfleet could capitalise. Henly was then at his best to save a flicked header from a free kick, Maidenhead going onto cash in on their goalkeeper's good form by taking the lead with three minutes of the half remaining when Green converted an Azeez cross.
Within seconds of the restart Henly was again called into action as Maidenhead began their task of holding onto their hard earned lead. However United retained an attacking threat throughout the game, having three good penalty shouts being turned down. The lion's share of the goal mouth action remained in the Magpies' penalty area though, Ebbsfleet's day being summed up by a shot that was turned onto the crossbar by Henly, who collected the rebound cleanly only to be flattened for his trouble.
With twenty minutes left, it seemed the day belonged to Maidenhead when a shot from Anthony Cook hit the post and rebounded across the face of the goal, Henly was beaten a couple more times before the end, only for his defence to sweep up behind him.
As the referee indicated an extra five minutes to be played Pritchard tested Edwards once more, with the introduction of Pacquette ensuring there was the experience on show to run the clock down near the corner flag.
As news came through that Dover had pegged back Whitehawk with a late equaliser, the final whistle sounded to confirm that Maidenhead would live to fight another day. Indeed regardless of what happens in midweek at Havant there will be something to play for at Bishops' Stortford next week, a testament to the unity of purpose shown by the players today to shut out a team destined for the play offs.