"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

Wednesday 6 April 2022

Away Day (sort of) Diary: Wealdstone 0-0 Maidenhead United (05/04/22)

When Mark Steward asked us in Stripes – I think it was after the win vs Bromley over Christmas – whether we thought the upcoming home game with the Stones should be unsegregated, our answer was a firm 'yes': OK, so their yoof has an unruly reputation, and the MUFC kids (usually seen at York Road on Tuesday nights, albeit only when Reading aren't playing at the Madejski) are no angels, but we'd make sure to keep ours in check – change Ends, don't be knobheads, etc. – and would naturally expect the Stones lot to do the same ...

Even though we'd discussed and quickly concluded that supporters shouldn't be held accountable for the actions of their clubs, WFC subsequently crying off with COVID-19 – not for the first time  had left a sour taste and, IMO, put our long-standing Fanfreundschaft under hitherto unprecedented strain

A situation made worse when WFC (1) postponed their rearranged home fixture at short notice (waterlogged pitch, despite no inspection required earlier in the day) and then (2) won 2-0 against the Magpies  we were missing Dan Goalie, Remy, and WDH  in the rearranged game at York Road

Limp defeat at Solihull Moors on Saturday had left me questioning whether I could be bothered to attend the re-rearranged Ruislip Manor game, but one or two of their fans seemingly love nothing more than to mock our away supporter numbers (quality, not quantity, as my old Maths teacher used to say), so I duly rescheduled some work meetings and sorted out childcare

Direct, 16:42 train to Paddington – following a lift to the station from the kindly Macleod (P) – saw us supping pints of Salopian's Oracle and Harvey's Sussex Best in the Thornbury Castle, just over an hour after finishing work; talking points on the journey up and then in the pub included whether we'd sacrifice National League status for a winning appearance at Wembley Stadium ('no'), countries prefixed by 'The' (officially there are two), Fred Armisen (aka Russ Nightlife in Toast of Tinseltown), and favourite songs by The Pogues ('Fairytale of New York' was met with short shrift)

Stop-start journey on the Met line  we dashed onto the wrong tube train at Harrow-on-the-Hill; had to change and double-back at North Harrow  but still time for a couple of pre-match liveners (Vale Brewery's Jekyll & Hyde was decent) in the J.J. Moon's close to Ruislip Manor station; a sizeable number of Magpies in attendance, including birthday boy Scunthorpe Dan Cornwall Dan

The ground  "they've made a shit one even worse"  layout being what it is and 'newbies' unaware of Non-League etiquette might be justifiable excuses for the sheer number of Wrong Enders, in which case WFC should've segregated ... from the start rather than at half-time! #noddy (If either side had scored in the first half  Kane Ferdinand hit the bar from a tight angle; Nathan Ashmore made a great save  then there would've been carnage, and no doubt people would've been moaning once again about crying children à la Ebbsfleet in 2010 and Maidstone in 2017.)

Our previous visit  albeit without fans in attendance  resulted in a 6-0 away win, and we almost had enough chances to score that many again: Sam Barratt hit the woodwork twice after the break  the second one apparently a fine fingertip save by their keeper Beaker from the Muppets  and the ball generally wouldn't fall for us in front of goal (their six-yard boxes are in a worse state than ours, believe it or not)

Not one but two Magpie supporters featured in the programme, which helped pass the time on the return journey; as did responding to some of their yoof on Twitter (including one 'L7 referee'  a tool, but clearly not the sharpest  who opined that Ruislip to Maidenhead is a 'long trip' and York Road is a 'shithole of a place' LOL)

Eleven points clear of the final relegation spot after King's Lynn Town's latest win, with our next two games against the bottom two (Dover away; Weymouth at home)  what could possibly go wrong?!

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