"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 10 July 2022

Away Day Diary: Holyport 0-7 Maidenhead United (09/07/22)

Half-eleven kick-off at Craig's local club; the first MUFC pre-season friendly covered in much/ any detail on here, I think, since Luton Town came to York Road in July 2013 for a fixture that, like this one, coincided with the Maidenhead Beer Festival

On my most recent visit to Summerleaze village (nb. four miles from Holyport village) in July 2009, I remember that trialist Daniel 'son of Dereck' Brown – who would go on to make 166 starts and score ten goals for the Magpies – caught the eye with a high-octane performance as two goals apiece from Alex Wall and Mark Nisbet secured a comfortable 4-1 win

Long and sweaty walk, but Macleod (M) and I made decent headway – stopping for photos in front and behind the Lobster Pot, where Craig and his Holyport mates were supposed to meet us for a pre-match rumble – before arriving at the ground as the teams were waiting to enter the pitch; Macleod (M) had booked our tickets – £10 for entry, a beer and a burger, and a free pint at the festival; so no wonder there was a record crowd (301) in advance and put my name down as 'Johnson Hippolyte'!

You might be unsurprised to learn a strong Maidenhead lineup – Andre; Chitepo, Eweka, Massey, Beckwith; Esan, Upward, Trialist, Barratt; Acquah (Hoath), McCoulsky (Johnson) – was several levels above the opposition in terms of quality and fitness, and, although the home side should've taken an early lead, a 2-0 deficit flattered them at the break: wayward finishing/ crossing from those in red shirts resulted in me and others regularly risking twisted ankles fetching balls from the ploughed field behind the goal

Port made ten changes in the second half compared to just two late on from the Magpies – yet we still looked like the significantly more energetic group: Shawn McCoulsky completed his hat-trick (eventually), youth team forward Christian Johnson grabbed a brace (celebrating the first – against the side that he will join on loan for the forthcoming season – as if he'd notched the winner in a World Cup Final, which was good to see!), and Eddie Trialist capped a tidy display by getting himself on the scoresheet

Over (pun intended) to the adjoining cricket club (where I used to play as a teenager), straight after the final whistle, for the ninth Maidenhead Beer & Cider Festival: Rainey, Mo Khan, the opposition manager (who I'd bumped into at a petrol station earlier in the day), my Dad, and various other familiar faces would sit and chat with us over the course of the next nine-and-a-half hours (!), as I supped on several decent beverages including By The Horns' Tropika ('inspired by the Pina Colada cocktail, brewed with pineapple puree and coconut flakes'), Bumblebee's Strawberry Mojito cider, and Vault City Brewing's Strawberry Sundae

Rainey getting tear-gassed in Turin during Euro '80 ("there was a Euro '80?!"), and pulled over by the police on the way back from an away game in Essex whilst a passenger in a Ford Escort Mexico, among the more interesting conversation topics before, much later, in front of a sizeable number of people (it was busy throughout the day), a ska covers band performed the worst version of Wonderwall that I've ever heard (yes, even worse than Willie T on karaoke!) – it should, presumably, have sounded something like this:

The quotes for taxis were extortionate – Uber wanted 25 quid! – and so it was another long walk home, but at least (1) the heat had subsided by then and (2) it had been an enjoyable day; time to start planning our trip to Nottingham!

No comments:

Post a Comment