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.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Jusqu'a la fin

A suitable low key end to the season on May Day Bank Holiday Monday at the Berks & Bucks Senior Invitation Cup Final. There was a real end of term feel as the players and officials gathered at the Holiday Inn Maidenhead for the traditional pre cup final meal (English breakfast). The blazing sun more suitable for cricket was another reminder that it was time to lay the football season to rest although the coach tried its best to create last day drama by almost breaking down en route. The driver decided to ignore the usual route to Chesham along the M40 and through Beaconsfield, instead going right through the middle of Wycombe. After one hill too many it gave up the ghost as the engine overheated but just about managed to crawl to the Meadow.
A healthy sprinkling of Magpies made it to the game but a crowd of 336 was probably smaller than that which would have gone to the original venue of Burnham and pale in comparison to the 2,000 crowd at the Kent Senior Cup Final on the same day. Still I'd forgotten what a great setting Chesham is for a football match surrounded by the rolling Chiltern hills with its facilities just right for a game of this stature.
An innovative selection by both managers led to an entertaining first half which ended all square after Wycombe scored twice in the first ten minutes through Murtagh and Bloomfield then Ashley Smith drove the Magpies forward to equalise.
The second half was something of a damp squib with I guess both teams all played out and it came as something of a relief when the referee played enough injury time to allow Wycombe to score a penalty to win the game.
It was then back to Stripes for the end of season awards, again not helped by the change of final venue. After an unprecedented apology from Drax for the general performance of the first team over the course of the season it turned into the Ashley Nicholls show as he picked up all the major awards. This was quite deserved as his consistency has been remarkable. Without his dynamic presence in the team at virtually every game I very much doubt that relegation would have been avoided. Unfortunately he's leaving to continue his academic career in Exeter but surely goes not just with all the awards but also the accolade of the club's most intelligent footballer. Hopefully one day he'll return to the squad as Dr. Nicholls, a first for the Magpies?

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