"As for Maidenhead, the conga (which was amusing) aside, quite a strange bunch really – some the oddest chants I've ever heard at a football match" ~ localboy86, Amber Planet forum, 26th April 2015

Sunday 13 October 2013

Marching On Together? No.

Maidenhead United 1-3 Slough Town

Shock! Horror! I attended a Maidenhead United home game yesterday; my first of the season. As such, I didn't need to rely on Educated Left Foot's Tweets for match updates. Instead, I posted some of my own. Not everyone is on Tw@tter, however, and so - for those sensible people who aren't - I will reproduce and expand upon them, on here, to paint a fuller picture of the Magpies' embarrassing B&B Cup exit.

^^^ The blog post linked to above can be found here. I counted nine away fans, then, in a crowd of 151. There may have been more, but not many.

^^^ This tweet generated a few bites from Slough fans (or Slough residents, at least). 'We're the bigger club,' they whined. Maybe so. A bigger club that's been playing in division(s) below us since 2000/01, though, and one which doesn't have it's own ground. 

^^^ Maidenhead started well, both on and off the pitch. In the previous 4-1 game, Drax's boyz were 2-0 up after about ten minutes. Slough - backed by at least 20 fans this time (five per flag handkerchief) - could've had no complaints if history had repeated itself. Those leading the Magpie chanting, meanwhile, seemed to have northern accents ...

^^^ After wearing green last time, Slough were now in a purple away kit with yellow trim (and I, regrettably, had purple chinos on). No need to panic, just yet, though ...

^^^ I didn't check the match-day programme, but presume that we are still sponsored by the lap-dancing club as well? Educated Left Foot, meanwhile, had tweeted that Slough's lead was deserved. Not sure what game he was watching.

^^^ It transpired that those responsible for the aforementioned transgressions were Leeds United fans, one of whom lived in Reading and had persuaded his mates to come along to this fixture. They soon tired of cheering for Maidenhead and lapsed into their usual match-day ditties. 

The MMS, meanwhile, are a collective of (mainly) Reading FC fans  - encouraged and augmented by Educated Left Foot - who have, over recent seasons, been coming down to York Road to watch Maidenhead United.

They once loudly celebrated, down the Canal End, after learning that Reading had scored a goal ...

We - accompanied by the Youth - countered with a chant of "There's only one team in Berkshire"

They subsequently moaned about this ('You should be grateful for our support' was the gist) on the old Advertiser forum ... 

We kindly explained - as if we should have to - that Reading fans can expect to be on the receiving end of some light-hearted jibes from Maidenhead fans, esp. after so obviously celebrating a Reading goal at a Maidenhead home game.

They printed out a batch of calling cards which they placed on the bar in Stripes ... 

We took most/ all of them and uploaded the following image to Tw@tter during the Fancy Dresslemania XIII pre-match pub crawl: 


Now, these MMS blokes are - seemingly to a man - the type that spend almost all of their waking hours on Tw@tter; no doubt proud of their hundreds of Followers and several thousand Tweets (highlighting the use of innuendo on Coronation Street; endless photos of their newly-purchased multi-coloured trainers; dogs in football scarves etc., etc.). As such, it was perhaps inevitable that there would soon be some references to GMOSC on there.

Last year I noted one of them poking fun at a denim jacket - with a large heavy metal band logo on the back (not my thing, admittedly) - worn at a midweek home game by an old friend of ours. 

Earlier this season, meanwhile, another mentioned 'some shitty blog that no-one reads' (now this blog might well be shitty, but there's a 'Total Pageviews' box - on the left-hand side - and not all of those are me!). 

Then last month, after Maidenhead's 3-1 home defeat to Eastleigh, there was a (relative) torrent of Tweets (both @maidenheadutd - the original and still the most followed Maidenhead United handle - and @gomadstopcaring). 

I can only assume that there had been a special promotion, on Fosters, in Stripes! 

Below is a sample conversation:

As potty-mouthed as Chairman Who Knows His Football Swearing. 

Anyway, back to yesterday ... 

^^^ Maidenhead were still dominating play, despite being behind, and so it was little surprise to me when we equalised. Danny Green, Reece Tison-Lascaris and Harry Pritchard clearly had the beating of their respective men. The diminutive Slough keeper, meanwhile, got a mild soaking of Fosters in the post-goal celebrations. Regular readers of the blog will know what I mean by 'Rasher on it'. #shathimself

^^^ After finally dragging themselves level, Maidenhead then proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot; conceding two soft goals - and effectively throwing the game away - in the minutes immediately prior to the half-time whistle. They could justifiably have been booed off at the break, but the only significant noise - from either set of supporters - came from the Berkshire Whites. Apparently Leeds are Champions of Europe. I must've missed that.

^^^ Into the second half. Green, RTL and Pritchard continued to impress for the home side, and the chances kept coming. As he had at Gosport, however, Michael Malcolm missed a header that can indisputably be classified as an 'absolute sitter'. T*ttenham Hotspur reportedly paid £1M to W@nky Wanderers for Malcolm when he was a 14 year-old prospect. Trust the Spuds! The Slough CF, BTW, was Ed Smith.

^^^ By this time, Daniel Darlington from the Advertiser had also tweeted that Slough 'fully deserved' their lead. Again, I cannot agree with this. Yes, the visitors were playing well - presumably their best performance of the season - but a Maidenhead side that looked off their game were still the ones pressing. As per the above Tweet, Slough's keeper - Jake Somerville - was impressive. I would give him the MoM nod (which tells you something, methinks). Incidentally, Carl Taylor was finally sacked - if I remember correctly - after an embarrassing home defeat in which the opposing keeper was the game's stand-out player. Just saying!

^^^ The Magpies were starting to huff and puff at this stage, and the Bell End's interest in the game was waning. Maidenhead United flattering to deceive in front of a 'bumper' home crowd, Cloughie burying his head in the sand when it suits him, death and taxes.

^^^ 1.FC 1899 Bruchsal vs VfR Mannheim in the Oberliga Baden-W├╝rttemberg was better quality than this.

^^^ The inebriated, northern oiks - who claimed that they are currently banned from Elland Road - were becoming really rather annoying now, as they persisted with their Leeds songs and bantered with the home fans. "You're just a small town near Bradford," taunted the Bell End, "You're just a town full of Leeds fans," came the response. I was fully expecting them, at some point, to start banging on about Plusnet broadband!

Non League Day.


In practice, is NLD - as a Dover Athletic fan, who I follow on Tw@tter, so eloquently put it - a 'patronising load of w@nk' ... and unlikely to have any long-lasting positive impact?

IMO, Yes.

Non league clubs like Maidenhead United need to stop acting like the overweight, unattractive bird who is desperate to intermittently shag the non-committal, unfaithful bloke simply because she doesn't think that she can get anyone else.

^^^ United - clearly missing the presence, upfront, of the still-injured Richard Pacquette - were getting increasingly desperate now. Town, not co-incidentally, were looking increasingly comfortable. Their two centre halves had been solid throughout, certainly more so than their Maidenhead counterparts. I love Mark Nisbet (he scored at King's Lynn, afterall) and have heard good things about Matt Ruby. Both are injury-prone, however. Chopping and changing centre halves - whether through choice or otherwise - is not a good idea, IMO. Drax needs to decide upon a durable partnership and stick.

^^^ Telling, methinks, that no-one seemed particularly surprised nor angry at the end (except maybe LCG Dave!). Results like this one have rather typified Drax's tenure as manager. He can (and will) make lame - now much-derided - excuses and/ or threaten the players that they'll soon be out of a job. What will actually change? Nothing. Meh.

^^^ This is a reference to a recent Advertiser article. @therealdrax, meanwhile, remains one of the very best parody accounts out there ... and is one of the reasons, IMO, why Drax should remain as Maidenhead United boss! (Another being that I have zero confidence in the Board replacing him with someone better.)

^^^ Top eight?? :-D 

When will people learn that the brandy and cigars should be left well alone, at least until we've finished one place above the drop zone (or have won the AGM Cup again)? Instead, certain people continue to over-excite themselves after a half-decent August and September.

Anyway, I'll finish with some (attempted) funnies of my own:

^^^ 'Foul & Abusive language is strictly prohibited within the ground'. Or not. Depends on who it is. (Craig's first competitive Maidenhead United home game, incidentally, since before you-know-what.)

^^^ A mirror in Stripes? Presumably this is so the players can take a long, hard look at themselves ... once they've finished giving each other marks out of ten, of course, and only if they can actually be bothered going into the bar.

^^^ Only another £159,995.82 to go! 

^^^ Sneak preview of the Conf South league table, this time next month?

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