"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 29 November 2019

Away Day (sort of) Diary: Dover Athletic 3-4 Maidenhead United (26/11/19)

Didn't for one moment expect to escape traffic delays of some kind on the M25 but, equally, I also didn't expect to be celebrating - with Macleod (M) and Willie T - Maidenhead United goals whilst listening to BBC Radio Kent, in the car, on the M20! We'd left home at 5pm and, after a convoluted journey lasting nearly three and a half hours, walked through the Crabble turnstiles just as the half-time whistle sounded … with the Magpies having come back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to lead 3-2 at the break!

Only 15 or so away fans (later supplemented, behind the goal, by the suspended Alan Massey and Danny Whitehall), all of whom - bar Macleod (M), busy putting up the flags - were in raptures as Malta's Hackney's Joe Ellul (!) finished with aplomb to give those wearing orange 'fluorescent red' shirts a two-goal cushion

Very soft penalty, awarded by the vertically and intellectually challenged Referee (Lloyd Wood), on the say-so of his Assistant - Nb. no second yellow, at this point, for Ellul - allowed Dover the opportunity to level the scores (after Wayne Rooney John Rooney Paul Rooney had earlier halved the deficit); CHRIS DUNN TO THE RESCUE, though, with his second penalty save in three games!

Even though Ellul was harshly sent off (his second red card, for two cautions, in as many matches), after a wayward pass from substitute Ibra Sekajja, the Magpies navigated the remaining added time - five minutes, inexplicably - with relative ease: only one heart-in-mouth moment, when there looked to be more of a push in the box than the one that'd previously resulted in a spot-kick!

Rude not to toast being on the right side of a seven-goal thriller - especially as we'd only just left the car! - and so the three of us enjoyed a round of drinks, in the rather clinical clubhouse, before embarking on our return journey … which, thanks to road closures (incl. the M4) and an unavoidable petrol stop in Windsor, lasted until 1am and took our total drive time close to six hours! Worth it, though, for three valuable points #midweekawaydayfortheages

Monday 4 November 2019

Away Day Diary: Aldershot Town 2-0 Maidenhead United (02/11/19)

Although not a huge rugby fan, I wasn't going to miss the World Cup final; it seemed that neither England nor Maidenhead United would get much better chances of ending their respective droughts (16 years since Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in Sydney; 22 since Chuk Agudosi's legendary celebration in front of the East Bank)

Less said the better regarding the early morning weather, leading to us eschewing a walk into town - our preferred option - and booking a taxi; however, come pick-up time, the torrential rain had stopped, and the skies had brightened considerably

Disrupted service due to high winds delayed the 12:04 from Reading, and we were sat on the train - with a load of Oxford United fans - awaiting its late departure when an announcement came through that a long list of scheduled stops had been scrapped, including Ash; instead, we had to get the 12:32 to Gatwick Airport, alight at North Camp, and hotfoot it to Ash Vale

Everyone - including Paul (Macleod [M]'s neighbour), Mr Logic, and Dav 'the St Johnstone fan' - was extremely pleased with my choice of a pub; indeed, Ian and Mark, Shots season ticket holders from Fleet, reckoned that the Garden Gate will now become their regular pre-game haunt

Robust breeze at our backs as we attacked the East Bank in the first half; thoroughly disappointing, therefore, that - aside from one miraculous headed clearance from underneath the crossbar - we barely troubled their keeper

Some decent saves from Chris Dunn, but otherwise, he was at fault for both goals (fumbling the ball over the line; beaten at his near post); overall, it was a poor performance from the Magpies against a side hitherto bereft of confidence

Happy birthday (today) to CJ - Aldershot resident; long-time friend and colleague of mine; Luton Town fan - who would join us in the Crimea (crap beer)

Other post-match pub stops: the Trafalgar Inn (OK; not as good as I'd remembered), the Queen Hotel (photo with Fijian members of the British Army Rugby League team), and back to the Garden Gate (change of beers from the afternoon; equally good)

The old adage - 'a good day out tainted by 90 minutes of football' - was mentioned more than once on the journey home; we'll have to improve - significantly - to give Rotherham a game in front of the Football Focus cameras next Saturday

(BBC report; match highlights)