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.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Any Port In a Storm

Following the farcical events at York Road which saw the match referee postpone the game at 2.10 due a postage stamp of a wet patch in one corner, I opted to make the most of the bright winter's afternoon and take a brisk walk to the north of town to watch Holyport take on South Kilburn in a Hellenic League Division One East fixture.
I was not alone in taking this opportunity with fellow Magpies snaking through the Aldebury Road estate to climb the stile to reach the footpath which led to the entrance. The ground quickly came into view which was fortunate as the game kicked off early.
After parting with £5 which supplemented my admission with a programme and a drink I saw the visitors hit the post then Eric Hamilton convert the rebound. By the time I collected my complimentary beverage South Kilburn had doubled their lead with a great turn and shot from Thomas Kieron. This may not have been clear to the uninitiated had Holyport were wearing a dark red kit whilst South Kilburn were in light red.
The Summerleaze village ground is as basic as they come, with a pitch ringed by a metal rail, the only buildings being the dugouts and tea bar.  The dressing room complex is down a path.  A small stand is planned which will provide some much needed shelter from the wind which whips across North Town Moor.  Certainly cover is a must as it can scarcely be a pleasant place to watch football in the rain, particularly as there is no warming club house to seek refuge in.  This may also help to boost attendances.  The crowd was just 31, even though it was supplemented by those of us deprived of football at York Road. However one bonus is that the lack of a fence, means we watched an interactive game regularly being required to divert the ball back onto the pitch.
Back to the game and after the shock of going two behind in the first four minutes, Holyport started to show their promotion credentials by slowly clawing their way back in the game, taking the lead by half time.  They were helped by two penalties which seemed to demonstrate that dramatic tumbles were on the menu in training. Dan Rapley converted both but in between was perhaps the biggest victim of a foul inside the box which in this case went unpunished.  The spot kicks bookended a first half Rapley hat trick, his second being the goal of the game when he went on a Ricky Villa style mazy run to equalise.
The second half saw Holyport emerge as comfortable 5-2 winners courtesy of a Carl Reeves header from a well worked freekick, with the scoring completed by Mark Camp-Overy who profited from a comic mix up between defender and goalkeeper.
The game provided a pleasing contrast with what I had witnessed at Arsenal on Wednesday night.  Yes the action was amateurish but nevertheless entertaining even when South Kilburn lost their discipline towards the end, which helped to warm the crowd on a chilly afternoon.  Well worth a look if you require a football fix, just check the weather forecast before you set out.

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