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, 9 March 2013

Away From The Numbers

"Away from the numbers, that's where I'm going to be" - Paul Weller

Depspite Jose Mourinho's insistence that the world would be watching the game at Old Trafford, there was plenty of other football on offer across the country and there was no doubt in my mind that based on recent form a Maidenhead United match was not to be missed.
So I joined the small crowd at York Road, boosted by a commendable following from Dover, to watch a game in which the visitors were largely on top although the Magpies never quite gave up the ghost.
Starting at a terrific pace with both teams seeking to get the ball forward as quickly as possible, Maidenhead had a half chance to take the lead when Harry Pritchard just got ahead of the backline but with David Pratt following to his right, the young winger seemed caught in two minds and the ball was comfortably collected by goalkeeper Mitch Walker.
Boasting a team of all talents, Dover's defence, marshalled by Ian Simpemba, proved to be hard to penetrate all evening and the attack was just as effective, Ben May giving the Frenchmen the lead with a neat flick at the near post. At this point Dover looked poised to run away with the game but the United defence held firm and as the tempo slowed the Magpies came back into the game.
After the break a similar pattern ensued, both teams starting strongly before Dover took charge once more, Barry Cogan atoning at the midway point for missing a sitter ten minutes into the half by beating Billy Lumley with a shot from distance that bobbled cruelly in front of the keeper.
Just when the result looked done and dusted, Maidenhead showed the resilience that has been such a feature of their play since 2013, when Chris Flood returned a throw to Leon Solomon whose cross from the right found Pratt at the far post, leaping athletically to head the ball downwards in textbook style to score. A goal so pleasantly surprising I flung my phone in the air and watched it separate into three pieces on impact.
Although Maidenhead continued their hunt for an equaliser, Dover had an ace up their sleeve to make sure of the three points, bringing Moses Ademola off the bench. Ademola who starred for champions Woking up front last season did everything but score and the only surprise was that the winning margin wasn't greater.
In my opinion, despite their stylistic simplicity, Dover are the best team I have seen this season. This is to be expected given the size of investment in their squad, which even extends to an executive coach complete with tables, and look a good bet to win the play offs.

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