"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 31 December 2017

2017/18 Diary ~ December

We caught the 07:21 from Maidenhead armed with FORTY-EIGHT tickets (incl. seat reservations) between the three of us; one delay too many meant that we (just) missed a connection (one of four) - spending unexpected time at Crewe station (£4.50 a bottle) and 'the worst pub in Chester' again (decent pint, though, of Monty Python's Holy Grail by Black Sheep) - before arriving into Wrexham after midday

Royal Oak inexplicably shut - stopping the Joule's Tap House Tour dead in its tracks - and so we traipsed back up the pedestrianised High Street (which reminded me of Newport; make of that what you will) to the ultimately uninspiring Horse & Jockey

Elihu Yale, a Wetherspoon's pub, was the next stop; we stayed there for a couple of rounds as, although it was 'Bear busy', the ales (incl. Oakham's Raucous Reindeer and Westwood's Maori Sidestep) were very good

X-rated performance from the referee, giving us next to nothing and playing a crucial part in the all-important opening goal: the home side hadn't created anything of note before Chris Holroyd - who looked suspiciously offside - was put clean through to beat Carl Pentney at his near post, after the 'Marlow 'Welshman in the black' had intercepted a Christian Smith pass and then failed to award a free kick for a foul on Rene Steer (I'm not convinced that Steer was impeded, in all honesty, but 99 times out of 100 an official would blow for it after getting in the way as this one - Marc Edwards - had done)

Hyde almost immediately spurned a gilt-edged chance to equalise, shooting wastefully wide after latching onto an under-hit back pass; I hope his Maidenhead career isn't defined by this moment, although I fear that it might be

Another underwhelming match day experience, despite amicable stewarding and the Racecourse Ground being as beguiling as I'd hoped: extortionate admission price (£20), no burgers and no chips (is that too much to ask?!), condemned terrace behind one goal (a real shame), ramshackle away quarters (so many different colours and types of seating that it made the old Railway-side Stand at York Road look coherent), home fans with an annoying drum and Crystal Pauli-esque chants ('We're on our way' zzzz), etc.

Mad dash to the nearby Sainsbury's - which seemed to be operating a minimum alcohol pricing policy, as it only had cans of Old Speckled Hen on offer (they actually went down much better than I expected, as did the port and cheese) - before our less tortuous return journey; one highlight for me was emulating Craig in getting blocked on Twitter by OrientMeatPie, the Vauxhall Motors Runcorn Town Maidenhead United Leyton Orient fan and Mickey Mouse Squad affiliate, who once stated that GMOSC was a 'shit blog that no one reads' (half right!) and, earlier in the season, after MUFC gave the mighty Orient all of the Bell End, posted on the MUFC Facebook page that Magpie supporters should 'suck it up' #karma

(Match highlights here)

Sex People (DNSFW)

Oslo in Hackney was the venue on Saturday night for mine and Macleod (M)'s seventh live experience - best yet - of the peerless Goldie Lookin Chain, which explains these links to some popular videos from their YouTube channel. (For me, at this precise moment, there's a 'post-Wrexham, pre-Hartlepool' lull re the Magpies; fortunately, I don't think that our regular readers - all two of them - come here primarily for the on-field content … they're missing the point if they do!)

Work Xmas Party at Hedsor House on Friday night; I haven't touched white wine since last year's event!

Our exploits in the Trophy seemed, for many years, more impressive - and more enjoyable - than the FA Cup (e.g. 4th Round in 2000/01 [Blyth Spartans], and Quarter-Final in 2003/04 [Halifax Town], whereas Stafford Rangers in 2006/07 was our first FAC1RP appearance for 35 years); the counteract was that you'd usually have to slog your way past all-too-familiar foes from your division, before finally getting to the good stuff (e.g. before the legendary game at Blyth - "We're the famous Maidenhead, and we went to Whitley Bay" - we'd played Humpton and Enfield from our division [Isthmian Premier], plus Braintree Town from the one below)

Kingfield Stadium for the second time within a month - i.e. Woking away - another example of a yawn-inducing, 'team from the same division that we've played loads of times in recent years' draw

I didn't ever plan on attending this game owing to the inevitable hangover; however, Macleod (M) did go

Not going to lie - my interest in the result was so negligible that I didn't bother to look it up until Sunday evening; as heartening as it was surprising to see that our goal scorers were the maligned - of late - Moses Emmanuel and Jake Hyde

Getting Halifax or Macclesfield in the subsequent draw did little to ignite my enthusiasm for this season's competition, but that may well change if we manage to navigate another tricky-looking away tie

(Match highlights here)

Happy Christmas! said the National League fixture computer abacus, with a barely concealed smirk, when giving us a 538-mile round trip on Christmas Eve Eve

AFC Fylde away on a Tuesday in August would be this season's 'I was there' moment, at least according to Macleod (M) when the fixtures were released; this changed to Hartlepool away on Christmas Eve Eve … after work commitments meant that he missed Tarpey's four-goal haul at Mill Farm!

Rat Race Ale House - the second oldest micropub in the UK; described as 'perfect' in the latest edition of the Good Beer Guide - would be closed until the 27th #badjuju

Train failure meant that the 08:11 from King's Cross to Sunderland was cancelled, so we had to travel via Peterborough #badjuju (Not disastrous, thankfully, as our arrival - and meet with Macleod (C) - was only delayed by 30 mins or so.)

List of pre-match pubs included the Causeway (very frothy pint of Cameron's Strongarm), the Blacksmith's Arms (where Craig expertly added ties to my recently purchased - on eBay, from Hartlepool! - Berkshire flag), and the Brewery Tap (four quality pints for £10.40 + free cheese = GMOSC 2017 Pub of the Year contender)

Every Northern ground that I've been to, thus far this season, has been selling pies (of varying quality) rather than burgers and chips; no chips at the impressive Victoria Park, but the cheeseburger was top notch

Poor refereeing again: this one - David Richardson - missed a clear foul on Rene Steer that led (albeit indirectly) to the home side opening the scoring and booked Sean Marks after Scott Loach had made the most of contact but barely spoke with the Pool players who left feet in on Remy Clerima (in the first half) and Harry Pritchard (in the build-up to our equaliser)

Off the line! The Magpies couldn't have argued if Craig Harrison's Richard Herring's side had been out of sight by half-time rather than only one up; Alan Massey's goal-saving block shortly after the break was a game-changing moment that sparked a second-half rally which more than compensated for disappointing displays/ results at Halifax, Chester, Torquay, Coventry, Eastleigh, and Wrexham

Our 18-stone striker (!) celebrated what turned out to be the winner with a mask that had been hidden in his sock … and then couldn't find his shin pad when play was due to restart! (Scouse Snapper Mick captured a great photo of the moment and, it transpired, also had the shin pad!)

Legendary carry-out (incl. 12 cans of lager, six pasties, two bottles of port, and a partridge in a pear tree), photos with Rainey (at least someone got the Christmas jumper memo!) and Remy (taken by Max Kilman), plus no delays (a successful sprint for an earlier-than-planned train at Paddington meant that we actually made it back in under four hours), enhanced our festive cheer; the KSG felt like conquering heroes upon our return … prompting additional - and, in hindsight, unnecessary - pints in the Maiden's Head

(Match highlights here)

Shaun the Sheep Movie on BBC One prompted a belated Christmas miracle: Junior sat on my lap and barely moved a muscle (aside from when giggling hysterically) for the entire film!

Only found out the result when switching over to Final Score at 5pm

Let's get something straight: if we hadn't sold Tarpey, we'd have pissed this tin pot league! (Bornatotter also makes a good point)

I was subsequently pleased to read that Christian Smith got the winner; he's someone who has really stepped up when called upon this season

Home win against the bottom side not a given, bearing in mind our results vs the other teams occupying relegation spots; a festive double over the Moors - assuming the scheduled return fixture goes ahead on New Year's Day - would be most welcome (Don't. Hold. Breath.)

United fans - certainly those with a basic understanding of football - will be delighted to see James Comley back from injury (groin) and on the bench

Local rivals/ lower league round-up #1: big win for Sl*ugh (with ex-Magpies Mark Nisbet, Chris Flood, and Gavin James on the score sheet), but they're 13 points off the top spot in the Southern Premier (albeit with several games in hand) #stayingdown (N.b. Basingstoke Town - an example of a club that Drax infamously said we couldn't compete with - languish in 16th)

Local rivals/ lower league round-up #2: M@rl*w's game at Hartley Wintney got postponed; they're 17th in Southern Div 1 East, behind the aforementioned Row (9th), Chalfont St Peter (8th), and Beaconsfield SYCOB Town (5th) #supermarlow

(Match highlights here)

A 12:30 meet, and then walk into town for me and Macleod (M)

First, indeed only, pre-match port of call was the Maiden's Head, where Stef et al. were already in situ; Craig and Macleod (C) would join us at 2pm

Chats with Dave L, Bobby P, Mr Logic, and Les upon entering the ground and making my way down to a less-than-packed Canal End

Frivolous penalty award - kick duly dispatched by Harry Pritchard - otherwise, we created very little of note; the away side had come close - very close - to opening the scoring when Danny 'just a shit David Tarpey' Rowe hit the post, Carl Pentney made a superb follow-up save, and then the ball was cleared off the line

You could see them taking all three points, even when we were 1-0 up, so it was no surprise that they went on to take the lead after equalising

Lots of huff and puff from Maidenhead - not least when Fylde got reduced to ten men near the end - but, in truth, we lost to the better side on the day; Macleod (M) mentioned that his highlight was chatting with ex-Magpie defender Kevin 'Sarge' Brown (150 starts/ 3 goals, in the '90s) on the Bell End after the final whistle, which perhaps tells you all you need to know

Dev's substitutions, while certainly not the main reason why we didn't get anything out of the game, were somewhat baffling: I'd have brought on James Mulley and Adrian Clifton for Rene Steer and Sean Marks rather than taking off Max Kilman (more height to deal with Fylde's long throws) and Moses Emmanuel (looked livelier than he has done)

Enjoyable year, though, all told (#understatement); here's hoping for more of the same in 2018

(Match highlights here)

PREVIOUS INSTALMENTS: August, September, October, November

Thursday 30 November 2017

2017/18 Diary ~ November

Colchester United in 1960 was the last time that we'd played a league side in the FA Cup, prior to Aldershot in 2011 (and some people - me included - question whether the Shots qualified as a bonafide league club); remember that 51-year barren spell whenever someone comments on our supposed abundance of recent good fortune #abouttime

On one of the 13 supporters' coaches to Essex sat my maternal grandfather, who first took me to York Road in the mid-80s and, shortly after WWII, had moved down to Maidenhead from Annfield Plain … via Coventry! No one could've been more pleased with this draw than my Mum (whereas I was rather envious of Slough getting Gainsborough away #contrary)

Verging on the ridiculous, meanwhile, was Macleod (M)'s tale: he watched the draw live on an iPad in a hotel bar, whilst on holiday in Dubai, and apparently predicted that we'd get an away tie at the Ricoh Arena … just weeks after ending a 13-year stint as a Ricoh employee!

Eleven:eleven train from Reading - with plenty of Magpies on it;  the blokes next to us cracked open a bottle of port! - arrived into Coventry just after twelve:thirty (slightly late) and preceded taxis to the excellent Dhillon's Brewery (close to the ground; highlight of the day)

New #1 in the 'biggest ground I've seen Maidenhead play at' stakes: the Ricoh's 32,609 capacity slightly ahead of the 30,500 seats at Stadium MK (where we lost 4-1 in a B&B Cup tie on a bitterly cold night in December 2007; Darti Brown scored a wonder goal, 263 saw it)

Thoroughly underwhelming experience: only James Comley really did himself justice; Harry Pritchard should've opened the scoring but shot weakly at the keeper (and, generally, didn't look 100%); sloppy defending for both goals (the second, just before half-time, was particularly deflating); Alan Massey went down, clutching his face, rather easily (regardless, I thought that their player was somewhat fortunate to escape with a yellow card); Adrian Clifton should've halved the deficit, with time remaining for a Port Vale-esque equaliser, but blazed over; pathetic home attendance (just 3,370 in total, >20% were away fans); decent Magpie turnout (716) - a modern-day record - and plenty of effort from the Youth, in terms of noise, although they were at the front and the acoustics were, like the view, much better towards the back

Roamed the city centre streets - pretty grim - to find a half decent post-match pub: the Castle Grounds (£11.80 for four pints of Pure UBU, served by an attractive redheaded barmaid; a porcelain Christmas decoration smashed in celebration by accident)

You'd have been forgiven for thinking that we were in a Third World country, judging by the state of Coventry city centre the trains on the way home; symbolic of a disappointing day in general (Wrexham away green lit for Saturday 2nd December, as originally scheduled, the silver lining.)

(Match highlights here)

Game of Thrones binge (most of Series 1); the wife was more or less recovered from a bout of tonsillitis but now the little man's nose was doing more running than Harold Odametey, while my throat was on fire < insert reference here to one of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons >

A surprise to me that there was no late cameo off the bench from Sean Marks, at Coventry last weekend, returning as he was after a prolonged absence through injury; disconcerting, therefore, that he wasn't even listed among the substitutes for the Head derby

Tweet at half-time from the Advertiser correspondent certainly didn't make for great reading (Worse than some of the rubbish served up by Drax?! Really?)

Even though I'm a fan of his, Christian Smith replacing James Comley at the break was not a substitution that inspired much confidence of a barnstorming comeback (Presumably more to that change than meets the eye.)

Shirtless away fans seldom a good sign for the hosts; 0-3 it finished

Home form has been excellent, so this result - let alone the score - was as unexpected as it was unwelcome

Ebbsfleet in April was the last time that we'd been defeated at York Road on a Saturday (P7 W4 D3 F14 A8) - and 13th in the table is not to be sniffed at - but …

As much as being disappointed at not getting a result at Coventry does indeed show how far we've come, looking beyond the occasion - FA Cup 1st Round tie at an impressive stadium vs relatively illustrious opponents - I don't think that the players did themselves justice last Sunday; following that underwhelming performance with a comprehensive home defeat vs a side below us in the table - albeit one that has improved of late under a new manager - compounds rather than alleviates a sense of let down

Dave Tarpey has been replaced - perhaps only temporarily and insofar as such a prolific goal scorer ever can be - but there's now a Dean Inman-shaped hole in an already stretched squad and, if Sean Marks is going to miss more time, I think we need another #9 as well

(Match highlights XXX)

Wet afternoon at Waddesdon Manor - in the news, the previous day, after a fatal mid-air collision - rather than watching the North London derby and/ or attending Woking away

0-0 was the score on my most recent visit to Paul Weller's home town; I'd have gladly taken goalless draws for both Arsenal and Maidenhead on Saturday

Kingfield an intriguing stadium, not least the relatively gigantic stand that Woking Borough Council helped pay for; I was also told by a group of home supporters, over pints of Cardinal Gold in the bar one year, that WBC enforced a Compulsory Purchase Order - and subsequently demolished some houses - as part of a phased plan to prepare the ground for League football #hearsay

I've previously wondered if the reverse could happen re RBWM and York Road, i.e. the Council issuing a CPO on the football ground to build houses (or, more likely, flats); as it is, Shanly getting closer

Nice surprise to read about three points for the Wenger boys; one on the road for the Magpies also rather pleasing #nothingbetter

Game of Thrones has been a near permanent fixture on our TV, in the evenings, over the past week (we've nearly finished Series 3); I was beginning to think that the House of Stark's oft-repeated motto - Winter Is Coming - could also apply to East Berkshire's finest, but perhaps that's me being something of a Negative Ned

(Match highlights here)

Even Drax would think twice before coming out with the risible comments that Spitfires boss Richard Hill made, after their 2-0 home defeat vs Barrow last weekend; the 100+ Magpie fans (official away attendance given as 80, but that seems as inaccurate as the turnstile operator was slow) were primed and ready with chants of "You're getting sacked in the morning"

Alan Devonshire's 472nd game in sole charge of the Magpies, taking him above fellow Hall of Famer Len Townsend into first place; for those interested in such things, Dev's stat line reads P472 W216 D104 L152 F756 A572 W%45.8 (permanent manager win percentages, top five and other notables: Jimmy Price 60.1% [out of 233 games], Geoff Anthony 54.3% [138], Maurice Williams 48.7% [150], Len Townsend 48.4% [471], Martyn Spong 48.0% [127], John Dreyer 36.7% [79], Johnson Hippolyte 36.0% [445], Dennis Greene 24.1% [29], Carl Taylor 22.0% [50] )

Silverlake Stadium is one that I've been to several times over the years; it's changed significantly - impressively so - since my last visit in 2015, let alone since 2009 or 2007

Team sheet missing both James Comley and Adrian Clifton - not even among the substitutes - but at least Sean Marks was back in the starting line-up (Craig surmised, in the car on the M3, that Marks only appeared on the bench at Coventry so we could name the full quota of subs)

Less said about our finishing the better: Moses Emmanuel (twice) and Marks missed very presentable chances, and so a solitary strike from Sauce - MoM, for me, ahead of Jake Goodman and Christian Smith - was all that we had to show for a dominant first half performance worthy of a four or five goal lead

Easy decision for the referee to award us a penalty - converted by Harry Pritchard - shortly after the break, although this was preceded by a clear push from Sam Barratt on Gavin Hoyte, and was followed by a yellow rather than a red card for the ex-Arsenal defender, who tripped Barratt when he had NO keeper to beat (the aforementioned push had caused Hoyte to clatter into Graham Stack, outside the box); the ref wasn't the sole reason why we lost didn't win this game - our woeful finishing was, IMO, the primary cause - but he did get some big calls wrong (see also: no free kick for Maidenhead nor red card for Stack, after he'd handled on the floor outside his area, and James Mulley being shown a yellow card before, 30 seconds later, a red - no second yellow - after inadvertently catching Hoyte with a high foot)

I've said before that our squad needs reinforcements and I stand by this assessment: Marks was blowing - understandably - long before he was subbed but, with Clifton unavailable, we had no #9 to replace him; his departure saw us struggle to hold the ball upfront, lose momentum, and drop far too deep

Game-changer, though, was Eastleigh getting a penalty - correctly awarded after Pritchard's ill-judged lunge - with a little over five minutes left; I think that the home side could still be playing now, without scoring, if they hadn't been given this lifeline

Hartlepool at York Road in August were the worst side that I'd seen us play, but Eastleigh were unquestionably there or thereabouts; to concede a 93rd minute equaliser to them - as inevitable as it was (missed chances, penalty, red card etc.) and as good a strike as it was - is painful to recall

(Match highlights here)

My 100% record (3/3) in MUSA pub quizzes is no more, as Team KSG - me, Craig, Macleod (M), Macleod (P), and Willie T - could only manage second place in the Ark on Friday night; more importantly, money was raised for Maidenhead LFC (I agree with Murdo that we should attend one of their away games sometime soon), and other good causes, in a charity event that doubled up as a leaving do …

Aston Villa fan, prominent MUSA activist, and everyone's favourite wedding attire beer sweetie magnate, Steve H is moving back Solihull way after 24 years in Maidenhead (apparently his first game at York Road actually came in 1970, while visiting a family member who lived here); I'll fondly remember all those long nights in the Anchor, putting the MUFC world to rights, and occasional minivan trips up the M40 ("KC drove us up") to watch Castle Vale play, but my abiding memory of Steve H - and this says more about me, I think, than it does him - will always be the tumble he took whilst celebrating Dwane Lee's penalty at Horsham :-D (All the very best, Steve H; don't be a stranger.)

Chatterton, Michael cropped up in conversation on Friday night and, as I tweeted the following morning, his MUFC Hall of Fame credentials are worth re-capping: 451 appearances (3rd all-time), 148 goals (2nd), 52 games as joint-manager (36.5% win percentage) #legend

Cold - very cold - on Saturday morning; brilliantly captured by Scouse Mick

Liverpool hotels were the focus of my attention, before a lunchtime shopping trip to TK Maxx; Craig might not be keen, but the Macleods and I are planning on stopping over - in Liverpool, not TK Maxx - after our game at Tranmere Rovers in January

Eye test at Boots for the wife, so Junior and I had some afternoon time to kill

Silly rule (League or Club?), that you have to pay full price for second half admission, meant that his competitive York Road debut would have to wait :-(

Free Advertiser balloons handed out as we instead joined the (sparse, at that time) crowd watching bands play on a stage outside the Town Hall; prelude to the Christmas lights being switched on (M@rl*w had Russell Brand, Maidenhead had some woman off Gogglebox; make of that what you will)

I assumed the Magpies had lost when, having returned to the car, I saw a tweet stating that we'd dropped two places to 14th in the table; a pleasant surprise, therefore, when I subsequently read about Jake Hyde's late equaliser (which sent Sutton, rather than Macclesfield, top)

Even though we're among the top goal scorers in the division (37 D&R, 35 Aldershot, 33 Boreham Wood & Bromley, 32 Maidenhead & Fylde) - and Adrian Clifton has impressed many with his conversion from midfielder to striker - I think it's fair to say that we've yet to successfully replicate the potent Marks & Tarpey partnership from last season; perhaps it's time to give Hyde & Marks a decent run?

Looking forward, regardless, to Wrexham away next weekend: a proper old school ground (albeit with flags rather than fans dominating the behind-the-goal terrace) and proper ex-League club (I can clearly remember listening, in my bedroom, to radio commentary of their famous FA Cup win over Arsenal in January 1992)

Don't mention, though, our record in Wales: by my reckoning, we've played in the Principality on eight previous occasions - 75% vs Newport, the other games vs Merthyr - and the stat line reads P8 W1 D2 L5 F7 A15 (the only win - not witnessed by the KSG, incidentally - courtesy of a Richard Pacquette goal at Spytty Park on Valentine's Day 2009)

(Match highlights here)

PREVIOUS INSTALMENTS: August, September, October

Tuesday 31 October 2017

2017/18 Diary ~ October

This would've been ideal Fancy Dresslemania XVIII fixture, I think, so to get it in midweek was a real disappointment (esp. as the Gulls look likely candidates for relegation)

O'Neil Odofin - then Torquay captain - was one of the standout players during a cracking FA Youth Cup tie at York Road in 2014; he didn't make the grade at Plainmoor, though, and is now at Whitehawk after spells at various non-league clubs including Three Bridges (In contrast, a couple of Maidenhead players from that night - namely David Rogalski and Olly McCoy - have fared better, albeit away from Berkshire.)

Rerouted from the M4 due to news that the M5 was closed, the MurdoMobile - passengers: me, Craig, and Fuzz - passed Stonehenge at 14:30; we were enjoying the magnificent views of Babbacombe Bay, from the Cary Arms (I've now visited this pub in the '90s, '00s and '10s), before 5pm

Quite why the team coach driver decided to stick with the motorways is anyone's guess; we initially thought that Scouse Mick was on a wind-up

Unusual sight of supporters hanging around outside the ground - located among residential streets, which made a welcome change from the industrial (estate) wasteland that surrounds Chester's stadium - waiting for news as to whether the match would actually go ahead (with a delayed kick-off)

A few (too many) extra pre-match beverages in the bar (smaller than you might expect, but I liked it), which was managed by a former St Luke's and Newlands Girls' pupil!

You should've come on the A-roads sang the vociferous travelling support (72 of us; some of whom left during half-time) at the end of an embarrassing 4-0 defeat; an archetypal 'good day out ruined by 90 minutes of football' … made worse by rumours that Aldershot would be getting the Bell End on Saturday …

(Match highlights here)

Adrian Allen's wonder goal from 2001 is what immediately springs to mind when I think of this fixture … that and Trevor Kingham stood in the doorway, barring half-time entry to Stripes, as Reading and Aldershot hoolies threw chairs and fists at each other behind him

Load of patronising wank is how Dover fan Callum - currently studying in South Korea - once described Non-League Day; reasonably accurate, in my opinion, although he has since changed his tune

Dahlias (not Micky Chatt's, although surely approaching similar prize-winning quality) for £1.00, runner beans (MASSIVE) for 50p, and a free bag of Bramley apples, were procured from various houses on our walk up Cherry Garden Lane to the Shire Horse #thegoodlife

ENHEAD was the Bell End buffer zone, so it transpired, ergo my decision to do something else - spend time with the family - was justified (not being able to stand behind the goal Maidenhead are attacking, at York Road, pisses me off); a real shame, in my opinion, that the best part of the ground was unoccupied for a game such as this

Rebellion Engineer, sat in the pub garden (watched by a dog sat on the pub roof!), went down a treat

Satisfied with the result, when I checked the score at 5pm, although the realisation that we'd conceded a 90th minute equaliser obviously removed some of the gloss; Craig reckoned that a draw was fair

Horses - police, not shire - in Maidenhead town centre certainly an unusual sight!

Our first goal an excellent bit of play - not least the finish - from Adrian Clifton; pity no home fans on the Bell End to celebrate with

Twelfth in the table, after a third of the season, is more than acceptable; now, if only we could sort out the away form (P3 L3 F2 A9 - including games vs Chester and Torquay - since that impressive win at Sutton)

(Match highlights here)

Home draw? Check. Lower division opposition? Tick. Opposition struggling in lower division? Well, two outta three ain't bad!


Wrexham lost to Fylde, but our league visit there on 2nd December - the same weekend as FA Cup 2nd Round Proper - remains in the balance thanks to Ryan Upward's 91st minute winner (described by Craig as 'daylight robbery')

(Match highlights here)

Didn't ever envisage attending this fixture - seeing as it coincided with the 5th Maidenhead Beer Festival - but, as the day approached, I (like many others, it seems) decided that the time of year (the previous four festivals were all in the summer) and location (the 'earmarked for demolition redevelopment' leisure centre) left much to be desired; instead we went for food and drinks at Norden Farm, sitting next to Viva Neil Diamond, before getting drenched on the walk home

One long whingefest about who's club is more shit is how Callum the (aforementioned) Dover fan had described the post-match beers that followed our 2-2 draw at Fancy Dresslemania XII in 2012 … and he wasn't wrong, so it's remarkable to think that, five years later, Dover vs Maidenhead is a National League fixture!

Verifiable head-scratching re the Maidenhead team sheet, at least on first glance: no Clerima, Comley or Marks; Upward and Clifton on the bench; both Goodman AND Inman starting - the latter, presumably, in midfield - as new loan signing Moses 'Steve' Emmanuel made his Magpies debut against a former club

Eight hundred and thirty-seven was the attendance; shows how far we've come yada yada when a sub four-figure crowd, for a Maidenhead United league game, is met with disdain

Resigned to our run of successive away defeats stretching to four games, when ex-Burnham striker Ryan Bird notched for the home side, so Adrian Clifton's/ Jake Hyde's (delete as appropriate) 93rd minute equaliser was worthy of a celebratory rave

(Match highlights here)

^^^ Tuesday 24th, National League, won 3-2 (A) 

Bowie's back yard; fond memories, for me, of getting the train with Willie T to an Isthmian League Div One game in March 2000 (0-0; Att. 289) - Adrian Allen made his debut and wore white shoes in the clubhouse afterwards (giving rise to his 'Griswold' nickname) - and an opening day Conference South win in 2008 (Lee Newman with a brace; Att. 438)

Relatively OK journey (thank goodness, esp. as it was my turn to drive); we were getting high fives from a furry mascot (#notaeuphenism), and supping pre-match beverages in the impressive Ravens bar, less than two hours after leaving Maidenhead at 5pm

Only four goals had been conceded by Bromley at home all season, but a mockery was made of that stat during a frantic first half: 1-0 (10 mins; sloppy defending?), 1-1 (17 mins; Adrian Clifton header from a corner), 1-2 (21 mins; Harry Pritchard penalty after Sam Barrett had been fouled … near enough the only decision that the referee got right all evening), 2-2 (23 mins; well-worked team goal), 2-3 (35 mins; Clifton with a finish straight from the Ian Wright textbookthe Arsenal legend was justifiably proud)

Moses ('he left cos you're shit') was lively - while Yaya will rightly receive plaudits for his brace - but Christian Smith gets my Man of the Match vote ('ever the contrarian') for a combative and commanding midfield performance typified by a CRUNCHING tackle, early in the second half, which clearly indicated that the Magpies would not be rolling over

Lots of credit to the travelling support: decent in number and loud throughout

Eleventh in the table; back above Ebbsfleet - Sean Marks, BTW, thinks they're 'shit' - after Torquay won at Stonebridge Road #LOL

York Road should have an artificial pitch (the Chairman, after all, is/ was 'a long term advocate'), as results would indicate that we enjoy playing on them: win vs Hungerford at Slough in the B&B Cup Final, draw at Maidstone on the opening day, win at Sutton, win at Bromley …

(Match highlights here)

Double-digit team name will be an absolute necessity, one would think, to adequately tell the tale of Fancy Dresslemania XVIII in April; not so much a run-of-the-mill league game in October


Really surprised to learn, while kicking a ball about on the outfield at Sutton Cricket Club (where we were attending a 1st birthday party), that Dean Inman had signed for Billericay Town; I read about our 1-1 draw - the Magpies had lead at the break, thanks to Remy Clerima's first goal for the club - when we stopped for food, at the Bells of Ouzeley, on the way home

(Match highlights here)