About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Oh my devotchkas

I've often perused that, perish the thought, Maidenhead United are relegated back to the Southern League, I would play the theme to "A Clockwork Orange" before the teams ran out, such would be the barbarous English fayre that would be witnessed on the pitch following kick off.
My prejudice was confirmed by what I saw at the Southern League Cup tie at Hayes on Tuesday night.  The football to be fair was entertaining considering the status of the teams, but the aggressive confrontational manner of the Hayes droogs towards the match referee Steve Rea left a nasty taste in the mouth.
Hayes are the senior team of Brook House, who opted to change the name of the first XI to capitalise on the merger of Hayes and Yeading.  The ground is in the appropriately pleasant sounding Kingsfield Avenue, in the part of West London that seems to sprawl on forever without any defined focal point.
The floodlights make it easy to see the ground but difficult to find, the turnstile being down a footpath from club house.  Entry was £8 (as the bloke behind me said: "I didn't want a season ticket"), which although standard for this level is overpriced (cf £6 at Cinderford) but the programme was just a £1.  The pitch looked OK but what surrounded it was poor for this level.  There was one step of covered standing at one end, a tiny covered terrace on one side opposite a small stand, which was alongside a covered toilet block (looked like it had been plonked on another tiny terrace).  The changing rooms were portakabins which were so close to the touch line the players virtually stepped right onto the pitch.
The absence of a PA meant I had to rely on the shouts from the pitch to identify the players but with their scarcely being more people off it (officially 31) than on it this wasn't a problem.
Vistors Bedfont Town lay comfortably in midtable in contrast to bottom markers Hayes, and with Bedfont adopting a positive approach from the kick off the early exchanges went to form.  Town soon took the lead from the penalty spot converted by Leon Jarnie following a goalmouth scramble which a few players end up in a heap.
Hayes quickly equalised when a thumping free kick by man of the match Dominic Rhone was only parried by the keeper and Burton was first to the loose ball to score.
Despite this rapid response it soon became clear why Hayes were bottom of the table as they regularly reacted to the referee's decision with complete indiscipline punctuating the night air with a Sittonesque volley of effs and jeffs.
Sadly although Bedfont were playing the better football Hayes' direct approach proved to be much more profitable in the first half on a slippery surface, compounded by a jittery Bedfont goalkeeper.  Another free kick long into the box led to a Hayes penalty which was scored by Rhone to complete the comeback before half time.
After the break substitutions led to Bedfont taking control of the game with their man of the match Gavin Hart scoring the best goal of the game to equalise.  As the game drew to a close a deserved red card was at last brandished at Phil Merritt, but the dismissal seemed to inspire Hayes and they almost won the game in normal time with only the woodwork saving Bedfont.
Hayes then went onto win in extra time, Rhone capping a good night by scoring the winner.


Lenny Baryea said...

"Hayes quickly equalised when a thumping free kick by man of the match Dominic Rhone"

Rhone was, if I remember correctly, a former Maidenhead United Youth/Reserve team player under KC

Steve said...

I think you're probably right