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!
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Away Day Diary: Aldershot Town 2-0 Maidenhead United (22/11/11)
Maidenhead United's 12th visit to the Wreck and, despite being housed at the uncovered end for our last visit (an unfortunate 2-1 defeat under John Dreyer in the 2005/05 FA Cup, with Jamie Cook scoring a cracker) - plus the fact that I'd enjoyed three or four pints of Kronenbourg in the Crimea and the La Fontaine before kick-off - Steve H and I didn't need a sign to direct us to the away section on the East Bank. I was actually quite excited ...
A shame, then, that the match was something of an anti-climax, with Maidenhead well beaten, if not disgraced, on the night. Playing the rather cumbersome (and unfit/injured?) Ashan Holgate upfront on his own, and picking Nevin Saroya - less than a week after he was told to go and get some game-time elsewhere - to replace Leigh Henry (who's other half had gone into labour), in central defence, certainly didn't help. Neither did gifting the low-on-confidence and below-average Division Four side two soft goals, within the first 30 mins or so. The match was over as a contest before the break. As such, it was 'make your own fun' time. So, after photos with MUFC Hall of Famer Andy Smith ("Who needs Cantona, when we've got Andy Smith"), and a soon-to-be-hastily-discarded MUSA membership application form that I was handed, the singing began in earnest.
Coincidentally, as our vocal chords loosened, so did Drax's attacking inhibitions (Super Manny Williams would make a belated appearance around the hour mark). Maidenhead, resplendent in their Farnborough-like away kit, had a couple of chances near the end - notably a Will Hendry free-kick that was well saved - while Sam Beasant made some decent stops, to keep the score-line respectable. A large chunk of the songbook was reeled out (no thanks to "Thistle's number three"), with a fake goal celebration mingled with compositions both old:
"Whitley Bay/Oh Logic pulled"
"A group of blokes from Marlow went to Rome to see the Pope"
"Olé! Der Super Maidenhead"
"Are you Rasher in a wig" (to a steward with a full head of hair who was pestering the youth)
"How sh!t must you be, Weston/Dover/Eastleigh/Sutton/Welling/Dorchester/Tonbridge scored four"
"You're going to Hillsborough. You're going to Hillsborough. We're not. We're not"
"We're going Southern League"
Indeed Macleod (M) was, at the end, left to rue only two missed songs:
"Bring on the Tottenham and the Arsenal ... "
"He's Johnson Hippolyte, he does what he wants"
A prolonged, thunderous rendition of "Black and White Army", as time wound down, and then a passionate burst of "We love you Maidenhead, we do", at the final whistle, drowned out the annoying Aldershot drum. A steward (who had been smiling throughout the second half ... and joining in with some of the signing??) was to remark to me on exit - in language that Cloughie would disapprove of (if it were us using it, rather than someone the MUSA secretary had given a lift to) - that we were, in his experience (admittedly, he wasn't very old), the "funnies t.. .and most musical (??) supporters we've had here". A couple of posts on ShotsTalk, however, provide the best summaries: "2,181......with 261 from Maidenhead......their team may not have shown up - but at least they have - fair play" "Fair play to the 261 Magpies fans who came last night...they did their best to make the atmosphere and did their team proud with their singing - especially the last 15 - 20 minutes" This FA Cup run is done and dusted, then. The dream is over. Hillsborough will have to wait (for at least another 140 years, if Maidenhead's FA Cup record is anything to go by!). Drax and the players deserve huge credit, though, if only for the win over Woking and the draw with Aldershot at York Road. Respect, too, for those supporters who endured the arduous (!) midweek trip to Hampshire, and made themselves heard throughout. Here's hoping that the Cup windfall is spent wisely ... Anyway, time to concentrate on the Trophy ... We're playing Billericay Town at Fortress York Road this coming Saturday, and they're top of the Ryman Premier after a 5-0 win at H*rsham The League then ... W0 D2 L8 in our last ten games. Two points from a possible 30. The Berks & Bucks?? Abingdon United are gonna get a beat down! :-) M.U.F.F.