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, 21 August 2011

Hayesmazing Lane

Maidenhead have never been the best of starters but two consecutive 4-0 defeats helped to eclipse even the opening month pessimism of 1995 and 2005. Still hope springs etc. and the irrational optimism which places faith in coincidental events left me in no doubt that Hayes Lane, Bromley was the place to be on Saturday. In my seven previous visits to this part of Kent I had seen five Magpie wins and two draws. Coincidence or with recent results in mind had Drax worked out a flawless plan to beat Mark Goldberg's Bromley?
Pre match, soaking up the hopeless consensus of the Tuesday night defeat at Dorchester in the bar, I looked across the pitch and failed to share the stubborn keep calm and carry on nature of the cricketers playing in the teeming rain on the neighbouring cricket pitch, not helped by the big screen showing an all too predictable late collapse by Arsenal in their lunchtime match against Liverpool.
Still having ploughed through crowds of tourists understandably bewildered by the tube shutdowns in central London, and suffered a stale pint of Amstel, it was time to hit the impressive Bromley terraces, steep with just enough cover behind each goal. From the kick off the partnership of Scarborough and Saroya looked solid, and United showed confidence in their forward moves. Chief attacking protagonist was Anthony Thomas who capped a superb first half display with a fantastic individual goal in the ninth minute. Driving forward through the inside right channel he went through the Bromley defence like a knife through butter before applying an accomplished finish to post an early rival to last term's goal of the season by Ashley Nicholls from almost the same spot.
Bar the kneejerk reaction which always follows a goal Bromley had little response to going behind for the first time this season and indeed it was Maidenhead who could have gone into half time further ahead with both Manny Williams and Max Worsfold being denied. Indeed the impressive Bromley centre back Joe Dolan was the key factor in keeping the deficit to one. United also had a good claim for a penalty when a Bromley defender developed a bee like attraction to Alex Wall's yellow shirt grabbing a good handful of it to a total lack of interest from the referee.
After the break the Bromley management almost inspired an immediate comeback when a fierce Orlando Smith strike was parried by debutant goalkeeper Billy Lumley. This set the tone for the second period with Lumley imperious at the back, dealing with any Bromley effort with calm efficiency. With no way through for Bromley, Maidenhead grew in confidence helped by the introduction of Will Hendry for Williams. Hendry, bar his customary petulant caution, clearly relished his role just behind frontman Wall as Bromley became increasingly desperate for an equaliser which four minutes of stoppage time could not facilitate, the final whistle bringing a reward for those Magpie fans who had also made the midweek trip to Dorset.
So six United wins and two draws now at Hayes Lane, I just hope our appalling record at home to Purfrock isn't similarly extended on Tuesday night.


Lenny Baryea said...

A good read, Steve.

Very bizarre to think of Maidenhead United in yellow. Can't say I approve.

Sounds as if we were rather fortunate to come away with all three points, with the new keeper inspired on debut.

Then again, bearing in mind our record at Hayes Lane, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at the win?!

Similarly, though, I suspect Thurrock will fancy their chances on Tuesday night.

Early in the season, I know, but it has the look/feeling of a six-pointer...

Steve said...

Maidenhead United in yellow is a lot better than the all blue change strip of the mid 90s briefly revived in John Dreyer's time.
Wouldn't say we were lucky yesterday as Bromley didn't really translate pressure into clear cut chances.
Lumley wasn't so much inspired as efficient in the way he dealt with crosses.
Just the two good saves/chances for Bromley either side of half time.
As we know from 2009-10 and 2003-04 no one gets relegated in August although our opening fixtures are nothing to fear.

Lenny Baryea said...

Rather yellow than blue, admittedly, but Maidenhead United's away kit should be red.

Steve said...

In an ideal world yes but unlike yellow just doesn't work with some home colours. I'm struggling to think of any club that has a predominantly red away kit.