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, 2 November 2012

Goals Goals Goals

A positive development in modern football has been the increase in goals scored, coupled with a natural rise in the frequency of high scoring games/amazing comebacks. This was taken to an extreme on Tuesday night in Berkshire, with a fair sequel in West London the following night. Maidenhead have been in their fair share of such games this year, giving up a commanding lead against Farnborough on Easter Monday to lose 4-3 then almost doing the same on the final day of the season against Eastleigh before winning by the odd goal in seven at the last gasp. Furthermore a few weeks ago the second half performance against Hornchurch showed all the necessary attacking threat to respond to a half time three goal deficit, but the loss of a further goal not to mention a goalkeeper raised the stakes too high.
All of this doesn't sit too well with a purist like myself who sees the perfect game as a win with a clean sheet not that I was complaining when Maidenhead did almost enough to salvage a point at Bromley when the game was all but lost with half an hour to go.
As a whole the game showed how competitive the Alliance South is this season. People may grumble about the perceived quality in relation to previous seasons but aside from the polarised positions of Salisbury and Truro there is little to choose between the rest, it would certainly be a brave pundit to predict with any confidence who will occupy the places between 2nd and 21st come May.
Certainly Bromley look like a team better than their position of 19th at kick off. Furthermore for a team playing in the FA Cup First Round on Saturday their minds were in no way distracted from the task in hand. 
Following Saturday's superb win over Welling I was travelling in hope as well as expectation having been to all of Maidenhead's matches at Hayes Lane since 1997, an unbeaten run totalling eight games.
I was not unduly worried by Bromley's dominant start in a game which was open and played at a frenetic pace as precedent suggested that Maidenhead would soak up the pressure then score on the counter attack. Thus although Bromley appeared to be causing the Maidenhead defence all sorts of problems, the reassuring presence of Jesse Joronen in goal and the regular Magpie attacking forays meant all was going to plan. However when Bobby Behzadi shot narrowly wide when well placed on the edge of the six yard box, and Danny Waldren drilled home the opening goal with a super shot from the edge of the penalty area, concerns that this wasn't to be Maidenhead's night began to rise.
Joronen then showed his true class six minutes ahead of the break to make an unbelievable save from a Richard Pacquette header at the far post when the Finn looked beaten by a cross from appropriately enough Tony Finn. Joronen was helpless though to stop Waldren doubling the lead two minutes later when his free kick was deflected into the net.
At half time Drax made a double substitution bringing on Paul Semakula and Harry Pritchard for Alex Wall and Reece Tison-Lascaris but their effect was not felt immediately as Bromley did not sit on their lead, responding to the continued inane drumming and chants borrowed from Crystal Palace by maintaining their siege on the United goal.Once again it was Finn who spearheaded Bromley's threat down the left wing, and eleven minutes into the half his shot could only be parried by Joronen allowing Pacquette to prove the law of the ex by firing in the loose ball.
Three up and with little more than half an hour left Bromley at last looked spent. Now it was time for Maidenhead to have their say. Moses Swaibu was somewhat harshly judged to have brought down the tireless David Pratt in the penalty area but it was not to be Behzadi's night in front of goal as Joe Welch guessed the right way and saved his spot kick. 
Nevertheless Maidenhead are nothing but resilient this season and soon another chance presented itself as a Leon Solomon chip was only kept out by the far post. Shrugging off a second slice of bad fortune the Magpies continued to penetrate the Bromley half on either flank through Solomon and Pritchard, and were finally rewarded with twenty minutes remaining when the right back's cross was headed in at the far post by substitute Semakula.
Three minutes later the comeback was definitely on this time as Pritchard delivered from the left wing to Chris Flood at the far post, the loan player heading in his first goal for the Magpies. Maidenhead were now in their pomp, sweeping all before them, a great move with nine minutes left seeing Pritchard shoot just wide from the edge of the box, the young left winger not quite catching his shot sweetly enough. 
My unbeaten record now hung in the balance and thoughts turned to Andy Eaton's stoppage time equaliser on my first visit, a Full Members Cup tie in 1997 when most of the crowd appeared to leave rather than stay for extra time. However despite five minutes added on at the end the Magpies were unable to conjure up a third goal allowing Bromley to hang on for a win which sets them up nicely for their FA Cup tie at Fleetwood.

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