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!

Friday, 29 November 2019

Away Day (sort of) Diary: Dover Athletic 3-4 Maidenhead United (26/11/19)


Didn't for one moment expect to escape traffic delays of some kind on the M25 but, equally, I also didn't expect to be celebrating - with Macleod (M) and Willie T - Maidenhead United goals whilst listening to BBC Radio Kent, in the car, on the M20! We'd left home at 5pm and, after a convoluted journey lasting nearly three and a half hours, walked through the Crabble turnstiles just as the half-time whistle sounded … with the Magpies having come back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to lead 3-2 at the break!

Only 15 or so away fans (later supplemented, behind the goal, by the suspended Alan Massey and Danny Whitehall), all of whom - bar Macleod (M), busy putting up the flags - were in raptures as Malta's Hackney's Joe Ellul (!) finished with aplomb to give those wearing orange 'fluorescent red' shirts a two-goal cushion

Very soft penalty - awarded by the vertically and intellectually challenged Referee (Lloyd Wood), on the say-so of his Assistant (Nb. no second yellow, at this point, for Ellul) - gave Dover the opportunity to level the scores (after John Rooney Paul Rooney had earlier halved the deficit); CHRIS DUNN TO THE RESCUE, though, with his second penalty save in three games!

Even though Ellul was harshly sent off (his second red card - for two cautions - in as many matches), after a wayward pass from substitute Ibra Sekajja, the Magpies navigated the remaining added time (five minutes; inexplicable) with relative ease; only one heart-in-mouth moment, when there looked to be more of a push in the box than the one that'd previously resulted in a spot kick!

Rude not to toast being on the right side of a seven-goal thriller - particularly as we'd only just left the car! - and so we enjoyed a round of drinks, in the rather clinical clubhouse, before embarking on our return journey … which, thanks to road closures (incl. the M4) and an unavoidable petrol stop in Windsor, lasted until 1am and took our total drive time close to six hours! Worth it, though, for three valuable points #midweekawaydayfortheages

Monday, 4 November 2019

Away Day Diary: Aldershot Town 2-0 Maidenhead United (02/11/19)


Although not a huge rugby fan, I wasn't going to miss the World Cup final; it seemed that neither England nor Maidenhead United would get much better chances of ending their respective droughts (16 years since Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in Sydney; 22 since Chuk Agudosi's legendary celebration in front of the East Bank)

Less said the better re the early morning weather, which lead to us eschewing a walk into town - our preferred option - and booking a taxi; come pick-up time, however, the torrential rain had stopped, and the skies had brightened considerably

Disrupted service, due to high winds, meant that the 12:04 from Reading was delayed and then, as we sat on the train - with a load of Oxford United fans - awaiting its belated departure, an announcement came through that a long list of scheduled stops had been scrapped, including Ash; instead we had to get the 12:32 to Gatwick Airport, alight at North Camp, and hotfoot it to Ash Vale

Everyone - including Paul (Macleod [M]'s neighbour), Mr Logic, and Dav the St Johnstone fan - was extremely pleased with my choice of pub; indeed Ian and Mark, Shots season ticket holders from Fleet, reckoned that the Garden Gate will now become their regular pre-game haunt

Really strong breeze at our backs, as we attacked the East Bank in the first half; thoroughly disappointing, therefore, that - aside from one miraculous headed clearance, from underneath the crossbar - we barely troubled their keeper

Some decent saves from Chris Dunn, but he was also at fault for both goals (fumbling the ball over the line, for the opener, and then beaten, late on, at his near post); a poor performance from the Magpies, overall, against a side hitherto bereft of confidence

Happy birthday (today) to CJ - Aldershot resident; long-time friend and colleague of mine; Luton Town fan - who would join us in the Crimea (crap beer)

Other post-match pub stops: the Trafalgar Inn (OK; not as good as I'd remembered), the Queen Hotel (photo with Fijian members of the British Army Rugby League team), and back to the Garden Gate (change of beers from the afternoon; equally good)

The old adage - 'a good day out tainted by 90 minutes of football' - was mentioned more than once on the journey home; we'll certainly have to improve - significantly - in order to give Rotherham a game, in front of the Football Focus cameras, next Saturday

(BBC report; match highlights)

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Away Day (sort of) Diary: Wealdstone 0-2 Maidenhead United (22/10/19)


We've made no secret of the deep-rooted bonhomie that exists between us and Wealdstone but, despite enjoying Saturday (before, during, and after the game), and as discussed with Craig and others on Monday, there was no doubt that we would love it - Keegan-style - if able to beat them in the replay …

Even though Rotherham United at York Road wouldn't be the most enticing reward (shows how far we've come etc., etc. that a home draw vs a League One side is now viewed with such relative indifference)

A 'Waze special' - via Langley, Iver Heath and Uxbridge - got us to Ruislip in time for a quick drink (Black Iris' Bajan Breakfast; not bad) with home fans (some we'd seen on Saturday, some we hadn't) in the Hop & Vine (which would make a killing in Maidenhead)

Lots of head scratching re the Magpies line-up (three right-backs starting, with Seth Twumasi at left-back; Rene Steer and Freddie Grant among the subs), but we were on the front foot from the off and took a deserved lead when Josh 'he's one of our own' Kelly - clearly onside - finished with a shot across the keeper

Didn't have a good view of the Wealdstone sending off - *if* it was a foul then it initially looked like a penalty and a yellow card to me, rather than a free kick and a red - but, either way, I don't think that the decision was crucial to the result; we were comfortably better than them, on the night, even when 11v11

Stones' vocal support was underwhelming throughout, TBH, but they did find their voices - baying for the referee to level the numbers - when, after their on-loan keeper had made another excellent point-blank save (he'd made a similar one, in the first half, on Saturday), there was a melee in their six-yard box; again, we didn't have a good view of things, but a yellow card (for Ryan Upward) seemed about right

Talk at half-time concerned accusations made by Barnet stewards - notoriously crap - against two Maidenhead regulars; sounds a bit like Ebbsfleet 2010 all over again ("We don't want to ban you, but … ")

Only one up at the break was a disappointment, such was our control of proceedings, but Kelly effectively settled the tie with another decent strike after 56 mins; we were directly in line and knew it was in as soon as the ball left his foot

Not allowed out at the final whistle (a rarity), presumably because there's only one entrance to the ground; I appreciate that a larger away following would be granted an expanded segregated section, but goodness knows what the likes of Wrexham will make of the Vale if the Stones are able to emulate our 2016/17 title success ("National South champions, you'll never sing that!")

Ellul, Joe - belatedly substituted after being knocked over, and possibly out, by a ball-to-the-face - thankfully seemed OK in the bar post-match; we also chatted to other Wealdstone fans, whom we'd missed on Saturday (e.g. Mark 'The Fall fan'), and wished them all the best for the rest of the season

(Match highlights)

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Away Day (sort of) Diary: Eastleigh 2-1 Maidenhead United (08/10/19)


Even though I had to retrieve them from the laundry basket - after the wife reminded me, in the morning, that they hadn't been washed - my hitherto lucky underpants were on! #needsmust

A familiar haunt: my previous visits to the Silverlake Stadium have included a Macleod (M)- fronted Ye Gods! performing at the Solent Cougars Scooter Rally in July 2007, the most boring football match that I've ever attended (our 0-0 draw there in February 2009), and a 2015/16 pre-season friendly vs Abdul Osman's Partick Thistle

September from hell had seen the Magpies plummet down to earth, and down the league table, after a hugely encouraging first month of the season; October hadn't started particularly well, either

Two minutes is all Halifax had needed to take the lead on Saturday, whereas Eastleigh had to wait until the 26th; the referee, who didn't hesitate to book those wearing black and white, yet was happy to give final warning after final warning to those in blue - and who will presumably be appearing as Dopey, or one of the other dwarfs, in panto this Christmas - waved away vehement protestations of offside, from Alan Massey et al, after Danny Hollands had stooped to head in at the far post

Level at the break, though, after another Danny - birthday boy Whitehall - was quickest to react, in the opposition box, to a fortunate ricochet; there were other Maidenhead shots at goal as well - on target and everything! - and our overall performance, in the first half (at least), was a welcome improvement on recent displays

Excellent cross from the impressive Sam Smart - the Magpies had switched off at a throw-in, after a customary bout of James Comley Comedy 'winduppery' - begged to be converted … and Tyrone Barnett did the honours with a thumping header

I'd have taken a draw before kick-off and there's a good chance that we'd have secured an arguably deserved share of the spoils if our no. 18 hadn't fallen over his own feet, when a bit of Comley magic presented him with a glorious one-on-one opportunity; the former Chester man stayed down afterwards, for treatment on what the 52 away fans collectively diagnosed as acute embarrassment (the fact that it prompted a mid-match tweet from Macleod [M] is testament to what a bad miss it was; don't believe the BBC match report's truly hilarious assertion that 'Max Stryjek pulled off a superb save from James Akintunde to keep the Spitfires' lead in tact')

Goal difference is now all that separates us in 16th from Aldershot in 17th - which encapsulates our recent fall from relative grace - and Saturday's game at bottom-of-the-table Ebbsfleet has taken on a greater importance, with three points imperative; alas, it's difficult to see where our next win is coming from unless or until we bring in two or three better players to relieve the underperformers

Home to Wealdstone in the FA Cup, meanwhile, doesn't bear thinking about when you consider the recent form of the respective sides; I've nightmarish visions that we'll be comprehensively beaten, as we were by the same opposition in Drax's last home league game as Maidenhead United manager #hopenot