About Me

My photo
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, 14 April 2011

Wombling free

The joy of the previous night led me to seek out some more football on Wednesday with the formality of Real Madrid's victory over Tottenham Hotspur not appealing as I had already seen Joe Jordan on the losing side watching his son Tom's Eastleigh team crash to defeat at York Road.
I elected to travel to the wonderfully named Wibbandune, home of Colliers Wood United, which I am informed is the nearest non league club to my Hammersmith home. I find this hard to believe as its not the easiest place to get to but I guess as the crow flies this might be correct. 
Despite their lowly Combined Counties status the Wood have their own bus stop for their ground on the edge of Wimbledon Common. Bordered by the busy A3 which drones away throughout the evening the green surroundings make up for any of the ground's shortcomings. A dusty pitch is bordered by a brick clubhouse which contains the home dressing room (the away team make do with a Portakabin) and a small seated veranda flanked by the dug outs. There is a small all seater stand opposite and a shelter on the club house side containing a park bench (wonder if this counts towards the ground grading?).
I wandered into the ground straight into the clubhouse where a small crowd awaited teams.  An enquiry for a programme saw the gateman arrive so I could pay my £5 admission as well as receive the £1 issue produced specially for the game despite it being a replay of a previously abandoned game.
For me clubs like this are proper non league which probably now ends at the top of the Alliance North/South. Certainly if anyone wants to really experience non league football they could do worse than visit Wibbandune. 
The game pitched mid table United against bottom club Bookham desperately fighting relegation. An entertaining game ensued offering value for money at £1 a goal.  Four of these went to the home team but after they had taken an early lead through  Emmanuel Quarshie, Bookham fought back well having two efforts cleared off the line.
Despite some impressive switch play from Wood particularly from left to right where Mark Stein lookalike Nathan Mottley was the recipient, they doubled their lead with a direct ball down the middle which was finished again by Quarshie. Still as their Uncle Albert of a manager screamed "Don't even think you deserve it" although they should have punished Bookham's defensive frailties again before half time.
The interval saw me return to the clubhouse for a mug of tea, which with its china vessel reminded me of Maidenhead's trips to Ruislip Manor in the mid 90s.
After the break Wood seemed to put the result beyond doubt with a well worked free kick which saw energetic Dan Hammond's strike too powerful for the keeper, Quarshie poaching his third with the loose ball. Three Bookham substitutions gave them hope when one of them, Daniel Carnota scored the goal of the game and further pressure almost brought them a second from successive corners to set up what would have been a thrilling finish.
With one minute to go though Mario Embalo assuaged Uncle Albert's vociferous fears with another goal set up on the right by Mottley to make it a successful night for the team in black and blue stripes unlike the more famous ones worn in Milan.

No comments: