The heartwarming fightback at Basingstoke on Saturday, coupled with Tonbridge's humiliation at Boreham Wood on the same day meant I boarded the train at Waterloo East with great hope of a first ever win at Longmead. An invitation to upgrade to first class due to a lack of free seats cemented the feeling that this was going to be a good evening. A feeling that couldn't be dimmed by a grumpy taxi driver.
Still the home team would surely be seething from their humbling at the weekend and be keen to impress from the kick off. Sure enough Tonbridge caught the Magpies cold racing into an early lead when Nathan Pinney rang rings round the United defence before scoring from a tight angle.
Unlike Saturday's similar start though it didn't take long for Maidenhead to hit back. Within minutes Angels goalkeeper Lewis Carey was called into action to make good saves from Harry Pritchard and Dan Brown with the equaliser arriving just after the quarter hour mark when Tyrell Miller-Rodney blazed a trail through the Tonbridge defence before cutting the ball back from the byline to Adrian Clifton who fed Danny Green to score.
The goal settled the Maidenhead nerves and set the tone for a topsy turvy game which saw both sides enjoy periods of dominance with the result a consequence of the more ruthless attacking team.Thus it was Maidenhead who completed the comeback eleven minutes before half time when Clifton, making a welcome return from injury in his withdrawn forward role, set up Green to score his second of the evening.
After the break Tonbridge showed an intense determination to get back into the game and returned the score to parity, nine minutes into the second half when Mark Lovell finished from a fifth successive corner for the Angels. The home team continued to dominate, having a goal disallowed and then hitting the post.
However the fresh legs of Lanre Azeez revitalised the Maidenhead attack with twenty minutes remaining, helping the Magpies to rediscover their attacking verve of the first half. Tonbridge battled manfully to stop Maidenhead retaking the lead but were helpless to stop Green grabbing his hat trick when with ten minutes remaining the winger was able to apply a killer touch with his head after the ball pinballed around the penalty area.
Tonbridge attempted to hit back straightaway drawing the save of the evening at full stretch from Elvijs Putnins, the Latvian tipping a shot from distance behind. This time Tonbridge could make nothing of the corner leaving Maidenhead to seal the points from the penalty spot with one minute remaining. Miller -Rodney was the man brought down, but Green was in no mood to debate who would take the spot kick, brushing off the claims of usual penalty taker Bobby Behzadi, before burying the ball into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the night.
The 4-2 win, all the more important as it meant Maidenhead leapfrogged above Tonbridge in the table, closed a run of four home games with a decent haul of seven points, the only loss coming in the last minute at second placed Eastleigh.