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.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Lumley leads relief of the Alamo

With Man of the match Billy Lumley in the John Wayne role Maidenhead worked their socks off this afternoon to earn a point against a powerful Sutton side. With this season's memory scarred by a first half humbling at Gander Green Lane, I approached this match in trepidation of a repeat particularly with Mark Nisbet on the sidelines, the centre back's withdrawal through injury at Havant last week being seen unanimously by those who went as being instrumental in the Magpies' late collapse.
Guided by Paul Telfer at the back, Sutton again looked set to swamp Maidenhead having an early penalty shout turned down, and almost catching Lumley out with a speculative cross come shot, but it was the Magpies who took the lead in the seventh minute. With the Sutton defence pushing up, Alex Wall slipped through the offside trap, haring down the right wing before crossing to Manny Williams who scored with ease. Sutton responded instantly when Anthony Riviere ran through the Maidenhead defence to score.
Sutton then set up camp in the Maidenhead half until the break, the Magpie midfield providing only a buttery blockade for the pacy Sutton knives to run through. With Maidenhead effectively playing two wingers on either midfield flank in the shape of Max Worsfold and Reece Tison-Lascaris, the defence was afforded little protection from the amber onslaught but held up admirably, particularly when full backs Leon Solomon and Bobby Behzadi were switched over.
Despite their penetration up the pitch Sutton lacked a finisher and Lumley dealt comfortably with their frequent goal attempts which tended to be shots from the edge of the penalty area. Thus there was little for the massed scouts from Cambridge, Watford and Wycombe to see in the Sutton front line, the best chance being spurned when Craig Watkins ran clear only for Lumley to save with his legs. 
The Maidenhead forward pairing of Wall and Williams worked like trojans to chase down the Sutton missiles repelled and returned by the defence, Williams applying a delightful finish from distance which unfortunately meant nothing thanks to an offside flag. Wall went close to scoring two minutes ahead of the interval but the overall feeling at the break was one of relief that Maidenhead had hung on to keep the score level.
The introduction of Daniel Brown and Paul Semakula for the second half bolstered the Maidenhead midfield enough to make the game more of a balanced contest albeit one in which Sutton remained on top and so genuine attempts on goal became rarer. The roar of the large travelling support wasn't enough to convince the referee to interpret Michael Pook's last ditch tackle on Moses Odubajo as illegal early on in the half and by the time Harry Beautyman's free kick deep in stoppage whistled past the angle of post and crossbar Maidenhead had done enough to earn a point and continue the Magpies excellent league record against the Us at York Road, unbeaten in the clubs' last six meetings.

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