"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 26 February 2023

Away Day Diary: Halifax Town 0-1 Maidenhead United (25/02/23)

Happy (Valley) memories of previous trips to the Shay – wins and losses – going back to our legendary FA Trophy tie nearly 20 years ago, and I was looking forward to another visit, particularly after missing our decent performance (by all accounts) and much-needed result vs Yeovil at York Road in the week, my pre-purchased ticket for that having gone to waste owing to a family emergency (albeit it wasn't me, this time, in A&E at Wexham Park Hospital)

An early departure from Maidenhead (06:37) as part of an unusual outward journey  Craig messing up the tickets engineering works at King's X meant that we departed the nation's capital from Farringdon and had to change at Stevenage (where we had time for a McDonald's breakfast) – and, after conversations including the runners and riders in the SNP leadership contest and least favourite subjects at school (prompted by a teenager doing his maths homework sat opposite Craig), then meeting with Steve H at Leeds (following a not insignificant delay outside Newark), we arrived in Halifax just after midday to begin a pre-match pub crawl that went as follows: København (Meandering Bear wasn't open), Meandering Bear (with the Smiths), Royal Oak (as recommended by Wealdstone; at least it was cheap!), and Three Pigeons (Titanic's Cappuccino Stout is the best beer I have had since Tiny Rebel's Press Start in Chesterfield last season)

Less than ten minutes in, we were one up thanks to Ashley Nathaniel-George (to the tune of Go West by Pet Shop Boys); we hung on for the rest of the game as the home side huffed and puffed, with a few goalkeeper-induced nervy moments towards the end, but the 49 away fans were ultimately left understandably delighted with another clean sheet and three more points

I had implored Macleod (M) and anyone else that would listen during the game to go and get some roast potatoes with chilli – the best food I've ever had at a football match *chef's kiss*

Further pints of Cappuccino Stout  and a celebratory group photo  in Three Pigeons before we said our goodbyes to the Smiths and Rainey (they were staying over, sensible people) and went to catch the train to Leeds

A couple of quick rounds in the consistently excellent Head of Steam (soundtracked by the likes of IDLES and Nirvana) and then a supermarket sweep at M&S  the subsequent journey home was somewhat messy (it had been a long day) and complicated by the fact that I lost Macleod (M) and Craig on the underground (my bad) with my phone dangerously low on battery

XIVth in the table now, and we can start to look up again rather than down; a third successive win  for the first time this season  vs managerless Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday would set us up nicely for a free hit against Ryan Reynolds' boys, live on TV, next weekend

(BBC report; match highlights)

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