"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 19 September 2021

Away Day Diary: Notts County 1-0 Maidenhead United (18/09/21)

Not one, or two, but three runners - the latter none other than our former Assistant Manager, Sam Lock - passed me and Macleod (M), on the walk to the station, making yours truly feel suitably bad for giving a last-minute swerve to an early morning 5K (even though I'd been awake in good time)

Our train from Maidenhead to Paddington contained more Magpies than usual, most - unlike me, Macleod (M) and Craig - travelling on cheap tickets (£5 each way), via Grantham; topics of conversation included Edd China, possible Angela Lansbury- themed porn flicks (e.g. Murder She Rode), and interpretations of the Britannia S3 finale

The first pub on our pre-match crawl - after a greasy spoon (passing a pink McLaren with personalised plate; homeless persons just out of shot) at King's Cross/ St Pancras, then meeting with Stuart on the train and Steve H outside Nottingham station - was Castle Rock's brewery tap: the impressive Vat and Fiddle

Tour guide from here on was former Maidenhead United and Mercy College striker, and current West Bridgford resident, Andy Eaton; four starts, 61 sub appearances (kinda), and nine goals for Berkshire's finest during Dev's first spell as manager

September sunshine summed things up as we enjoyed more Castle Rock pints sat outside the Embankment ("Would you like a loyalty card?"), and then Navigation ales sat outside the Trent Navigation (with some cracking retro shirts dotted about)

Count em! 24 years (almost) since my last visit to Meadow Lane - to watch Exeter City - with Willie T, his brother, and his Dad; far too big and impressive a stadium for this level of football

Our starting lineup looked promising - or, bearing in mind injuries and suspensions, as promising as could be expected - and we performed much better than vs Stockport on Tuesday, in the first half; however, Josh Kelly failed to even hit the target with two gilt-edged chances that he really should've buried

Unlikely that they'll be as bad in the second half, warned Macleod (M), at the break, as he photographed me with a stag from Chipping Ongar; he wasn't wrong, and the home side - underwhelming overall - scored what ultimately turned out to be the winner, minutes after the restart, assisted by yet more powderpuff defending

Not even a penalty save from the returning Rhys Lovett - candidate for our MotM, along with Will De Havilland and Sam Beckwith - could significantly rouse the away support (76); the noticeable lack of "Alan Dev's" and "We love you, Maidenhead" told it's own story #ComleyWhereArtThou?

The post-match pub crawl - after a taxi ride to an already lively city centre, past a church converted into an eye-catching Pitcher & Piano - went as follows: the Kilpin Beer Cafe (Fruli on tap; 1. FC Köln on TV; Uncle Luther photo on the wall), the Kean's Head (pub as impressive as the view of the church outside; my rhubarb cider went down a treat), and the Canalhouse (as recommended by Gandermonium; likened by Murdo to The Calls in Leeds)

You'll have heard a 'good day out tainted by 90 minutes of football' from us before, but not that our train journey home included a civilised discussion, with a couple of fellow travellers, about the collapse - 13 years ago this past week - of Lehman Brothers. (Sadly, as things currently stand, the long-time bankrupt American firm probably has a better chance of near term success than Maidenhead United!)

(BBC report; match highlights)

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