"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

Thursday 24 October 2019

Away Day (sort of) Diary: Wealdstone 0-2 Maidenhead United (22/10/19)

We've made no secret of the deep-rooted bonhomie that exists between us and Wealdstone but, despite enjoying Saturday (before, during, and after the game), and as discussed with Craig and others on Monday, there was no doubt that we would love it - Keegan-style - if able to beat them in the replay …

Even though Rotherham United at York Road wouldn't be the most enticing reward (shows how far we've come etc., etc. that a home draw vs a League One side is now viewed with such relative indifference)

A 'Waze special' - via Langley, Iver Heath and Uxbridge - got us to Ruislip in time for a quick drink (Black Iris' Bajan Breakfast; not bad) with home fans (some we'd seen on Saturday, some we hadn't) in the Hop & Vine (which would make a killing in Maidenhead)

Lots of head scratching re the Magpies line-up (three right-backs starting, with Seth Twumasi at left-back; Rene Steer and Freddie Grant among the subs), but we were on the front foot from the off and took a deserved lead when Josh 'he's one of our own' Kelly - clearly onside - finished with a shot across the keeper

Didn't have a good view of the Wealdstone sending off - *if* it was a foul then it initially looked like a penalty and a yellow card to me, rather than a free kick and a red - but, either way, I don't think that the decision was crucial to the result; we were comfortably better than them, on the night, even when 11v11

Stones' vocal support was underwhelming throughout, TBH, but they did find their voices - baying for the referee to level the numbers - when, after their on-loan keeper had made another excellent point-blank save (he'd made a similar one, in the first half, on Saturday), there was a melee in their six-yard box; again, we didn't have a good view of things, but a yellow card (for Ryan Upward) seemed about right

Talk at half-time concerned accusations made by Barnet stewards - notoriously crap - against two Maidenhead regulars; sounds a bit like Ebbsfleet 2010 all over again ("We don't want to ban you, but … ")

Only one up at the break was a disappointment, such was our control of proceedings, but Kelly effectively settled the tie with another decent strike after 56 mins; we were directly in line and knew it was in as soon as the ball left his foot

Not allowed out at the final whistle (a rarity), presumably because there's only one entrance to the ground; I appreciate that a larger away following would be granted an expanded segregated section, but goodness knows what the likes of Wrexham will make of the Vale if the Stones are able to emulate our 2016/17 title success ("National South champions, you'll never sing that!")

Ellul, Joe - belatedly substituted after being knocked over, and possibly out, by a ball-to-the-face - thankfully seemed OK in the bar post-match; we also chatted to other Wealdstone fans, whom we'd missed on Saturday (e.g. Mark 'The Fall fan'), and wished them all the best for the rest of the season

(Match highlights)

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Away Day (sort of) Diary: Eastleigh 2-1 Maidenhead United (08/10/19)

Even though I had to retrieve them from the laundry basket - after the wife reminded me, in the morning, that they hadn't been washed - my hitherto lucky underpants were on! #needsmust

A familiar haunt: my previous visits to the Silverlake Stadium have included a Macleod (M)- fronted Ye Gods! performing at the Solent Cougars Scooter Rally in July 2007, the most boring football match that I've ever attended (our 0-0 draw there in February 2009), and a 2015/16 pre-season friendly vs Abdul Osman's Partick Thistle

September from hell had seen the Magpies plummet down to earth, and down the league table, after a hugely encouraging first month of the season; October hadn't started particularly well, either

Two minutes is all Halifax had needed to take the lead on Saturday, whereas Eastleigh had to wait until the 26th; the referee, who didn't hesitate to book those wearing black and white, yet was happy to give final warning after final warning to those in blue - and who will presumably be appearing as Dopey, or one of the other dwarfs, in panto this Christmas - waved away vehement protestations of offside, from Alan Massey et al, after Danny Hollands had stooped to head in at the far post

Level at the break, though, after another Danny - birthday boy Whitehall - was quickest to react, in the opposition box, to a fortunate ricochet; there were other Maidenhead shots at goal as well - on target and everything! - and our overall performance, in the first half (at least), was a welcome improvement on recent displays

Excellent cross from the impressive Sam Smart - the Magpies had switched off at a throw-in, after a customary bout of James Comley Comedy 'winduppery' - begged to be converted … and Tyrone Barnett did the honours with a thumping header

I'd have taken a draw before kick-off and there's a good chance that we'd have secured an arguably deserved share of the spoils if our no. 18 hadn't fallen over his own feet, when a bit of Comley magic presented him with a glorious one-on-one opportunity; the former Chester man stayed down afterwards, for treatment on what the 52 away fans collectively diagnosed as acute embarrassment (the fact that it prompted a mid-match tweet from Macleod [M] is testament to what a bad miss it was; don't believe the BBC match report's truly hilarious assertion that 'Max Stryjek pulled off a superb save from James Akintunde to keep the Spitfires' lead in tact')

Goal difference is now all that separates us in 16th from Aldershot in 17th - which encapsulates our recent fall from relative grace - and Saturday's game at bottom-of-the-table Ebbsfleet has taken on a greater importance, with three points imperative; alas, it's difficult to see where our next win is coming from unless or until we bring in two or three better players to relieve the underperformers

Home to Wealdstone in the FA Cup, meanwhile, doesn't bear thinking about when you consider the recent form of the respective sides; I've nightmarish visions that we'll be comprehensively beaten, as we were by the same opposition in Drax's last home league game as Maidenhead United manager #hopenot