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, 23 September 2012

Get Your Rocks Off

An outstanding FA Cup tie at York Road yesterday contested by two teams who attacked with vim and vigour throughout whilst both defences had a game to forget. Maidenhead had their noses in front all afternoon and deservedly take a place in the third qualifying round draw tomorrow but Bognor made sure the Magpies had to work hard all the way to the end of the ninety minutes to ensure victory.
In a pleasing symmetry with last season's corresponding tie the sun shone throughout adding to the warmth radiated by the memories prompted by the competition. Adding to the nostalgia was the grand old man of non league football, Jack Pearce, still General Manager of the Rocks and striding the pitch pre match preparing his injury hit team. Likewise Maidenhead were down to the bare bones of the squad with Bobby Behzadi making a rare appearance in the centre of defence.
Nevertheless both clubs raced out of the blocks and the tone of the game was set in the ninth minute when Alex Wall whipped in a superb cross from the right wing which was finished by David Pratt to the delight of both players' fathers who stood either side of me in the media centre. Bognor gave notice they weren't about to lay down and die soon enough when Terry Dodd hit the post three minutes later. Later in the half Billy Lumley was called into serious action, saving once with his feet and then pulling off a sublime one handed save, denying Steve Harper on both occasions.
Maidenhead were well worth their half time lead though Pratt doubling the lead midway through the half, this time converting a cross from the left by Harry Pritchard. Indeed everytime the Magpies crossed the half way line they looked like scoring with Wall and Pratt displaying some delightful interplay which saw Wall go close to getting his own name on the scoresheet a couple of times.
After the break the game continued in riproaring fashion, Dodd ratcheting up the tension when he pulled one back from the Rocks nine minutes into the second half. The goal only served to fire up Maidenhead, Pritchard hitting the post as Bognor were blitzed until Leon Solomon restored United's two goal advantage with a cheeky chip over goalkeeper Craig Stoner's head.
With an hour gone there was still plenty of life left in this Cup tie and Mu Maan made sure no one would want to leave early by scoring from the penalty spot with twenty five minutes to go. Maidenhead continued to strive for a fourth goal, and when Pratt's cross found Pritchard with the goal begging it was only a herculean effort by the clearly injured Stoner which enabled him to deny the young winger with an outstretched foot.
Pratt who put in another tireless performance then won a late penalty to seal the win which Bobby Behzadi despatched with aplomb, the striker going close to a hat trick before departing a few seconds early.
With both teams just about spent the final whistle confirmed a result which reflected Maidenhead's superiority up front and Bognor's resilience to stay in the game, qualities which should stand each club in good stead for the rest of the season.

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