"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 March 2019

Away Day Diary: Halifax Town 0-1 Maidenhead United (30/03/19)

Hartlepool is generally considered to have been the best MUFC away day of the 2017/18 season and, while that is completely understandable (pre-match pints in the Brewery Tap; comeback win two days before Christmas; a photo of me with Remy Clerima taken by a future Premier League footballer etc., etc.), Halifax coincided with my birthday and so is my personal favourite; a top day out - even though we lost - and I was looking forward to another visit

Alcohol ban on our pre-booked trains - owing to Millwall playing at Elland Road - wasn't a problem on the outward journey (even TWS was happy to be drinking coffee!), but a different story on the way back: no booze lead directly to loud arguments amongst ourselves (no change there) ... about jihadi brides and Jon Snow's race-baiting comments on Channel 4, rather than the usual trivialities (e.g. Carl Pentney, York Road ground improvements) #notourfinesthour

List of pubs on the 'alternative' (i.e. different to last time, with the obvious exception of the Three Pigeons) crawl: Ring O' Bells (not the best, but close to the station and the impressive Minster; nice to sit outside in the sunshine), the Pump Room (micropub #1; strangely fascinating to watch the barman change a barrel using an improvised pulley system), the Grayston Unity (micropub #2; enjoyed it in there, and not just because I beat TWS at Guess Who?/ despite the barman asking if we were from Maidstone and then pouring the wrong pint), and finally the aforementioned Three Pigeons (Fernandes Brewery's Black Voodoo tasted like Terry's Chocolate Orange; Ossett Brewery's Blonde tasted as good as before)

Inauspicious-looking line-up (no Massey or Upward; recent signing Ricky Gabriel - nominally a left-back - making his debut at centre half) further convinced me that we were likely to lose but, after an uneventful first 45, our second-half performance was as good as the chilli & chips that I had at the interval; we fully deserved the three points, and it would've been more comfortable - a repeat of the famous Trophy scoreline from 2004 - if the post hadn't denied Josh Kelly (after Ayo had put us ahead with a coolly-taken penalty)

Further pints, post-match, in the Three Pigeons; then photos and pleasantries with James Akintunde and Nana Owusu, after bumping into them at Halifax station

A flying visit to the excellent Head of Steam, before our (long) train ride home; I've been told that Leeds is a cracking night out, and I can well believe it

XI points clear of Havant & Waterlooville in the table, so all but safe; a remarkable achievement, particularly bearing in mind *that* week in October/ November, and other poor results such as the home defeat to Braintree between Christmas and New Year #brandyandcigars

(BBC report; match highlights)

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