"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

Monday 16 October 2023

Away Day Diary: Weston-super-Mare 0-3 Maidenhead United (14/10/23)

We became a bit blasé  familiarity breeds contempt and all that  about visits to Woodspring Stadium and Twerton Park despite them being comfortably the two best aways at the time in an otherwise dreary Conference South; however, they were always good days out (occasionally tainted, of course, by 90 minutes of football), and so it was a case of "could be better, could be worse" when the draw for the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round presented us with another trip to the location of Fancy Dresslemania XVI

Earworms of the day thus far (including 'Rip It Up' for me, 'La Vie en rose' for Craig, and 'I'm the Leader of the Gang' for Macleod [M]), Shay's #MoveUsOrLoseUs petition (specifically those signatories, e.g. Bernard Mensah, who might be ineligible), Scott McTominay's disallowed goal vs Spain ("not quite the Hand of God, was it?!"), and the weather in Munich (some of us are off to Germany next weekend) among the topics of conversation, with the Batemans for company, on the 08:30 from Maidenhead and then the 08:55 from Reading; it was sunny but with a chill in the air as we disembarked at Weston

Steve H aka Solihull Steve aka the Sweetie Blinder was waiting and joined three of us for breakfast  very good  in Central Perks before a pre-match pub crawl that went as follows: the Duke of Oxford (the Fork 'n' Ale wasn't open; the Batemans were in situ, fresh off the pier), the Brit Bar (top notch; Willie T and son joined us here as my phone battery crashed from 80-odd per cent to zero and I struggled to power up), and, finally, the Black Cat, with Viz wallpaper in the toilets, from where we got taxis to the ground

The hope, if not the expectation, was that our National League quality (don't laugh!) would shine through, and that's what transpired, at least in the first half, as Tobi Sho-Silva bagged himself a brace and the jubilant away fans serenaded substitute D. Omilabu  on for the injured Harry Parsons  to the tune of 'Insomnia' by Faithless; things got a bit nervy after the break as an already depleted Magpies XI lost further players to injury and we visibly tired  if the home side had pulled one back, I wouldn't have put it past them to have got more goals  but, as it was, almost immediately after the fourth official had indicated eight minutes of added time, Reece Smith indirectly set up Sho-Silva for MUFC's first FA Cup hat trick since Leon Solomon (a left-back!) at Godalming Town in October 2011, and the party atmosphere went up another level

One quick drink in the bar with kindred spirit @CasualSeagull  who had previously sought us out for conversation during the first half  ahead of a taxi back into town and a post-match pub crawl that started with an old favourite, the Criterion (with TVs showing Wales' defeat to Argentina in the egg-chasing); to the Regency (where Craig and I admitted to near constantly and deliberately winding each other up, which wasn't much of a surprise to anyone) and the Fork 'n' Ale (having passed not one but two busy Japanese restaurants, which seemed symptomatic of gentrification/ a town on the up) before a supermarket sweep at the giant Tesco's and then the 20:29 train home

Not every day that Maidenhead United fans get to celebrate an away win (or any win, thinking about it!), let alone one by such a convincing margin, so the triumphant drinking and loud singing after TWS et al. had joined the train at Temple Meads, was probably excusable; Que sera, sera, etc.

(Advertiser report; match highlights)

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