Goals from Emile Acquah and Reece Smith were enough to condemn Eastleigh to back to back defeats and return to Hampshire empty handed.

Joe McDonnell had to be alert from the first whistle as the Spitfires’ shot stopper did superbly to keep out a powerful header from close range by Remy Clerima minutes in.

Charlie Carter was in the thick of the action early on as he saw his first effort blocked behind before just heading wide of the target from the resulting corner.

Ryan Hill was causing problems for Maidenhead’s left-back Cole Kpekawa with his trickery and direct play, the midfielder won a corner for the men in blue.

Michael Kelly whipped in a delightful ball that Danny Whitehall nodded into the back of the net following a beautifully timed run, but the referee deemed that the striker had scored using his hand.

Minutes later, John Oyenuga went on a blistering run from right back driving through the heart of the home side’s defence but his left footed effort didn’t trouble Dan Gyollai in the Maidenhead goal.

Lee Bradbury’s side where now edging the creative play as they looked the more likely to get the opening goal of the game.

JJ McKiernan played a perfectly weighted pass to Oyengua who put in a fierce ball into the home side’s penalty area, Carter rose highest which he always seems to do but could only head the ball straight to Gyollai.

Just before the clock struck 30 minutes, captain Alan Massey headed the ball high back into the Eastleigh penalty area from a corner which evaded everyone but Acquah who poked home to give the host’s the lead.

The opener went against the run of play as the visitors looked the more likely to score before Maidenhead’s only second shot on target in the game which crept past McDonnell.

Carter and Hill were causing the most problems from the home side and it was this duo who linked up excellently to get the Spitfires back on level terms after some fast pasted passing.

Carter picked up the ball from 30 yards out, played a pass to Hill who returned the ball to Carter inside the penalty area who thumped an effort from an acute angle into the back of the net.

Within the closing stages of the first period, Smith received the ball after an Eastleigh tackle and Oyengua had to time his sliding tackle to perfection to deny a one-on-one situation.

Robbie Williams’ ‘Let Me Entertain You’ blasted out at half time at York Road, both sets of fans would be hoping for more of the same in the second half after a back and forth encounter so far.

The Magpies recorded the first effort of the second half as Clerima’s pass sliced through the Eastleigh defence but Smith could only blasted wide.

Moments later, Hill darted towards the goal and his through ball was put on a plate for Whitehall who tried to place his shot but was brilliantly saved from 12 yards out.

The home side restored their lead on the 56th minute after a quiet opening stages of the second period as Smith slotted home from close range after a pinpoint cross by Ashley Nathaniel-George.

Instantly after, Kelly’s corner found the head of Carter who opted to set up Ousseynou Cisee, he connected so sweetly with a volley but the captain’s effort just whistled over the crossbar.

Debutant Alfie Lloyd was tirelessly covering every blade of glass and went down after skipping past his man in the penalty area but nothing was given.

Just after the hour mark, Oscar Rutherford replaced Ryan Hill to change up Eastleigh’s attacking threat. On the 72nd minute Kelly was replaced by Vincent Harper.

Lee Bradbury’s last change with 15 minutes left was Corey Panter who replaced the returning Christian Maghoma.

Rutherford put on the afterburners to reach a through ball out wide, the winger put in a delicious delivery which was asking to be hammered home but the cross was gobbled up by the home goalkeeper.

From a long throw-in, the ball pin balled around the Magpie’s penalty area and eventually broke to Carter who did well to get a shot away but could only hit it wide.

In the dying moments of the game, Eastleigh thought they were leaving Berkshire with the share of the points.

Harper played a brilliant ball into the box which fell to Whitehall, his shot powered off the post and was then cleared off the line as our new loanee, Alfie Lloyd was millimetres from sliding it across the goal line.

By Jack Bunclark