In August 2010 three Maidenhead United fans were banned from attending home games, by a kangaroo court, for crimes they didn't commit.
These men promptly encountered a jobsworth security blockade, and so escaped to the non-league underground.
Today, still stigmatised by the MUFC Ltd hierarchy, they survive as supporters of fancy.
If you enjoy a train away day - and if you can find them - then maybe you can share a drink with ... the K-team!

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Away Day Diary: Harrogate Town 1-0 Maidenhead United (16/03/19)

Heathrow Terminal 5 for the 09:25 British Airways flight to Leeds-Bradford; the second time that I've flown to a Maidenhead United game (Gatwick to Newquay - for Truro away, during the Conference South title-winning season - being the first)

After spending nearly as much time taxiing to the runway, as we did in the air, we were greeted by strong winds and rain upon our arrival in North Yorkshire; more happily, the Macleods (M & P) had been up there since Thursday and they kindly took time out - from their break from stalking Remy! - to collect me and Craig from the airport

Roll call of pre-match pubs: Winter Gardens (impressive building, but underwhelming ale selection for a Wetherspoons; two coach loads of South Shields supporters arrived just as we were leaving), Major Tom's Social (nice set-up, but 'a bit beardy' and lots of children about; "like a hipster crèche"), Montpellier (small and 'a bit foodie', but friendly staff and a top pint of Timothy Taylor's Knowle Spring), and the Harrogate Tap (an early contender for 'Pub of the Year'; our first encounter of the day with a lapsed Sheffield Wednesday fan - nice bloke - and his Town-supporting mate)

Rainfall was heavy and prolonged, almost apocalyptic; there was standing water on the Stray, and general agreement that our match only went ahead because of the 3G pitch

O-O or 1-1 would, IMO, have been fair; the Sulphurites are evidently a strong side - their captain, for example, was head and shoulders above everyone else re Man of the Match (ironic, bearing in mind that he looks barely 5ft tall!) - but, basically, this game came down to their centre forward being afforded the freedom of West Riding, to score with a far post header, and then their highly-rated keeper somehow managing to tip a Ryan Upward effort onto the crossbar

Ground, meanwhile, can (politely) be described as piecemeal; a haphazard box-ticking exercise, with no less than four separate stands on the dugout side and a new structure that has - very recently - been plonked behind one of the goals (blocking natural light from getting to the clubhouse windows)

A ten-minute walk swim, back along Wetherby Road, to the Empress; decent ale selection - including Daleside Blonde, my 'beer of the day' - but standing room only, with seemingly everyone except us glued to the Calcutta Cup on TV ("The comeback starts here!" joked Craig, after Scotland had reduced the arrears to 31-7, just before half-time  ... )

Travelodge check-in complete, time for the evening crawl: the Coach & Horses (another 'Pub of the Year' contender; another pint of Daleside Blonde), the Alexandra (countless Man Utd fans - in Yorkshire! - watching countless TV screens, with the BBC commentary at full blast), the North Bar (its coffee and cakes are popular with ladies who shop, apparently, and if their ales are anything to go by then understandably so … notwithstanding the odour of drying socks!), the Little Ale House (cracking micro pub; protests planned against Theresa's heir apparent #fudley), Cold Bath Brewing (another good'un; almost too much choice!) and, finally, Blues (an inferior version of Vinnie's in Weston, IMO; a struggle for me to finish my pint, although this at least partly explained by the fact that we were into double figures at this point!)

Eighteenth in the table (UPDATE: actually nineteenth, at the time of publication, following Tarpey's first goal for Barnet) and, thanks to Chesterfield's injury-time penalty winner at Havant & Waterlooville, six points clear of the drop zone; our next match - vs the Hawks, at York Road next Tuesday - has season-defining potential

Monday, 4 March 2019

Away Day Diary: AFC Fylde 2-1 Maidenhead United (02/03/19)

After three consecutive 1-0 wins, the (second) opportunity for Maidenhead United to record four National League victories in a row - for the first time - came at Mill Farm; the venue, last season, for Tarpey's four-goal midweek masterclass

Four of us on the 07:17 from Maidenhead (joining Chris Rad. and Calum, who were already on the train); TWS was supping a large can of Stella, after making light work of a passion fruit and apple cider, as the 08:53 left Euston!

Coventry City fan at Preston, with a large drum on his back, a strong contender for 'Wally of the Year'; other topics of conversation, on the outward journey, included commemorative football shirts, the six men to have scored 100+ goals for Maidenhead (Copas 270, Chatterton 148, Denton 137, Laryea 123, Lowen 110, Day 108), and Doon Mackichan

First stop, after our 11:56 arrival into Blackpool North, was Bar 19; a bit grotty, but decent beers and only £10 for four pints

You'd be forgiven for thinking that we'd never been to Blackpool before, judging by the number of 'tourist' photos (sea, pier, tower, trams etc.) taken - much to Craig's annoyance - during the short walk to the Wetherspoons (where the rooftop terrace was closed! #badjuju)

Like most right-minded ale drinkers, I'd planned on avoiding the Greene King pub - particularly as I didn't fancy watching the North London derby (I didn't find out, until much later, that Arsenal had missed a last-minute penalty) - but was outvoted and so in we went; excellent pint of Cotleigh's Honey Buzzard, TBF, which was my 'Beer of the Day' ... at least until Ossett Brewery's Blonde - in the Old Vic, opposite Preston station - on the way home ('Pub of the Day', BTW, was the Stanley Arms in Wesham)

Danny Rowe turned Alfie Kilgour inside out - no mean feat - before firing home, to cancel Ryan Upward's early opener (which Murdo had missed!), and Fylde took the lead not long after the break; they're a good footballing side (with an impressive off-field set-up; a pity that relatively few people seem to care), and if anyone deserved to win this game then it was them, but they didn't create many gilt-edged chances and it was hugely frustrating for me that the winning goal came from a goalkeeping error

Eighteenth in the table now - down two places - but still five points clear of the relegation zone, with a game in hand; as John Urry said, between mouthfuls of fish supper, we need to bounce back against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday

(BBC report; match highlights)