"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

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Away Day (sort of) Diary: Maidstone United 2-4 Maidenhead United (15/01/19)

Mentioned to me on the night that I hadn't blogged in a while - TBF, Aldershot on NYD had been my only away game in the league since Chesterfield in September - and so I thought that I'd better get my act together ("You only blog when we're winning"): the MurdoMobile left the Royal County shortly after 5pm and, despite a period of standstill traffic on the M25, we arrived at our Kentish destination early enough to consider, but ultimately decided against, a pre-match visit to the Flower Pot

Alfie Kilgour - " ... he's magic, you know, and better than Cannavaro" - nodded us into an early lead, much to the delight of the travelling hordes (officially numbering 34; quality, not quantity, as my old Maths teacher, used to say)

I'm not a massive fan of the Gallagher Stadium (name aside), although at least we were allocated a section of the decent, covered terrace this time (and so not forced to stand in the rain, like on the opening day of last season); the downside to this, though, was our proximity to the home fans - and their loathsome drum - when they equalised with a free header at the far post (kids giving it the big 'un is a rite of passage, but one middle-aged gentleman should - but probably won't - feel ashamed of himself

Debutant Sam 'Nombe the hombre' - on loan until the end of the season - comes highly-rated by Oxford City fans (or one, at least), with the pace and trickery to cause all sorts of problems for a jittery Maidstone defence (ft. Maidenhead reject, and 2016/17 GMOSC Player of the Season, Charlie 'Surf Dud' Wassmer): the MK Dons youngster played a part in our second goal - finished by the fit-again Adrian 'Yaya' Clifton, after their hapless keeper had parried a James Akintunde shot - and added our third with a well-placed header from a sumptuous James Comley delivery

Second yellow card for their #21 meant that the Magpies were two goals AND a man to the good at the break … what could possibly go wrong?!

The second half started well for us, with more lackadaisical defending allowing Yaya to double his goal tally for the evening, and prompting me to check Paddy Power; I admit to being tempted to stick a quid on Maidstone @ 500/1 #insurance

Odds of a successful comeback presumably dropped quickly after Ayo Obileye reacted stupidly to a stray elbow by aiming his forehead at an opponent; there didn't look to be much - if any - contact, but the ref was itching to level the numbers, and it was a completely boneheaded move by our makeshift midfielder

Nervy moments as Will de Havilland bagged his second and the home side smelt blood, but generally, they were as devoid of creativity as we've been of late, and as the scoreboard clock ticked down, the away fans found their collective voice to help drag the team over the line

Early December, over a couple of beers in the bar, after our B&B Cup win at Holmer Green, the KSG looked at the upcoming run of league fixtures - Hartlepool (H), Bromley (A), Aldershot (H), Braintree (H), Aldershot (A), Gateshead (A), Maidstone (A) - and concluded that we needed a *minimum* of ten points to be in with a chance of escaping the drop; we did manage (exactly) ten points, as it happens, albeit not in the manner that we were expecting (e.g. losing at home to Braintree, winning at Gateshead) #stilltouchandgo, #themaidenheadway

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