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, 13 January 2013

A game of two thirds

I approached yesterday's game in Kent with some trepidation as the Magpies win in the corresponding match at York Road on the opening day of the season was although deserved somewhat flattering in its  final margin. So it turned out that the avenging Angels of Tonbridge won narrowly thanks to a penalty which sparked a rancorous end to the game.
Despite a 100% losing record for the Magpies, Longmead is a ground I've grown to like, I just wish it wasn't such a long walk from the station. Fortunately I managed to get there before the deluge which went on all afternoon. Nestling at the back of a housing estate, Longmead is a collection of small building projects offering cover on all four sides and most importantly a steepish covered terrace behind each goal.
The packed Christmas period was starting to take its toll on the Maidenhead line up with Joe Tabiri, Daniel Brown and Harry Pritchard all missing through injury, with the latter's presence in particular a big loss for a Maidenhead team who unlike Tonbridge failed to present enough of a threat in the final third of the pitch.
The Angels weren't lacking in this department as was shown as early as the third minute when Frannie Collin skipped into the clear only to be denied by the feet of Billy Lumley. As Patrick Kanyuka and Devante McKain began to acquaint themselves in the centre of the Maidenhead defence, United emerged from a shaky start to impose themselves on the game, bringing the ball forward with confidence. Thus it was disappointing to go behind ten minutes ahead of the interval when after Lumley parried a Matt Lovell shot from the edge of the penalty area, Lovell was first to fire home the loose ball.
Maidenhead levelled three minutes later, Alex Wall latching onto a penetrating through ball before unleashing a tremendous shot from the edge of the penalty to equalise. This meant the half time scoreline fairly reflected the half with Tonbridge's troublesome nippy attackers being matched by Maidenhead's more structured approach to goal.
A tight game continued after the break, the injured Kanyuka seeing Mark Nisbet return to the centre of defence whilst Derek Duncan returned to action at full back, Bobby Behzadi moving into midfield. The deadlock was broken seventeen minutes into the second half when Tonbridge won a penalty following a soft challenge by David Pratt on George Purcell who frustratingly went to ground running towards the corner flag.
Collin's penalty was well directed into the left hand corner, just eluding Lumley's outstretched hand. The aftermath led to Lumley being the butt of the Angels fans ire for the rest of the game, with the salient feature of the rest of the game being the long involved discussions between referee and everyone involved, and the Tonbridge players with any one in black and white.
Although Maidenhead worked hard for a second equaliser it was Tonbridge who improved most after the goal, going close to scoring enough times to ensure victory was deserved. Lumley had to be at his best to tip a Purcell shot over the bar, he was then beaten by a Collin shot which ricocheted off the post across the face of the goal.
Maidenhead's inability to overcome the experienced central defensive bulwark of Gary Elphick and Ollie Schulz to similarly test Lee Worgan meant there was little doubt about the final result, one I'm sure the home fans saw as payback for the opening day of the season.

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