"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

Friday 26 April 2019

Away Day Diary: Salford City 3-0 Maidenhead United (13/04/19)

Fancy Dresslemania XIX

Slow-running and uncomfortably busy train, then the Central Library - venue for a Frank Sidebottom exhibition - being shut, meant an inauspicious start to a much-anticipated trip #bobbins

A trio of top-notch beers in the excellent City Arms - I wouldn't be surprised if this place won our 'Pub of the Year' vote - got us back on track: my first taste of Titanic's Plum Porter (I'd missed out, at Tranmere last season, as I was too hungover), Brightside's Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Mild, and Fernandes Brewery's Black Voodoo (again)

List of other Friday night pubs: Wetherspoons Piccadilly (meet up with the Tuckers; underwhelming drink selection), Pie & Ale (impressive establishment; general consensus re their scrumptious pies was [1.] Pork, [2.] Chicken, [3.] Steak), the Castle Hotel (more Plum Porter), Lloyds No. 1 (Tiger Tiger had declined our custom; I definitely think that we should've stuck to the proposed crawl), and - before a final, unfinished pint of Stella back at the hotel bar - Walkabout (as bad as you might expect)

Finding a table for breakfast on Saturday morning, in the sizeable Wetherspoons Piccadilly, wasn't easy; large groups everywhere, including Scots, French and Scandinavians over for the 'other MUFC' game, plus two or three stag parties wearing fancy dress

On with our costumes, back at the hotel, before a rendezvous with Spock and Horrid Henry; then a taxi to the ground (neat and tidy; the likes of Harrogate Town should take note)

Ridiculously sloppy play from us meant that the game was over as a contest by half-time; indeed, bearing in mind the stat brought to our attention by Travis Bickle, that we haven't scored an equalising away goal all season, it was basically over as a contest when the Ammies took the lead on ten minutes (the only silver lining to our insipid performance was the reaction from some Orient fans on social media!)

Dev's 63rd birthday; he was suitably serenaded by the travelling hordes, during the second half, before an epic rendition of 'Black & White Army' that continued long after the merciful sound of the final whistle

Causes for celebration, post-match, in the Star (only one guest ale, but it was decent): group photo ticked off (#herdingcats), Duggee beat Jack Sparrow at pool (in their first match-up since 2000, when both were studying at the University of Hull), Bristol Rovers scored a 93rd-minute winner (after first conceding a 90th-minute equaliser) and, most importantly, Havant & Waterlooville lost at Solihull to secure our National League status for another season

I'd planned on us getting a bus back into town and, eventually, we did; although not before our lack of familiarity at travelling in an uncommonly large group reared its ugly head - as it had en route to Margate for FDXVII - with some of us on the X41 and others on the X43 #buswankers

Time for one in the Molly House (Beartown's Crème Bearlee was, by some distance, my 'Beer of the Day'; Jinxy Munro Ginger Spice - whose record, watching Maidenhead United in the National League, now reads as follows: P3 L3 F0 A13 - not the only male in there wearing a dress!), two quick pints in the Lass O'Gowrie (cracking pub; Crème Bearlee again), and a supermarket sweep at the station, before our train home (journey significantly more enjoyable than the recent one from Leeds)

You'd have gotten long odds, at the end of 2018, on the Magpies managing to avoid the drop; Dev keeping this team in the National League is arguably his best achievement #brandyandcigars

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