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, 21 April 2013

Harry's Game

And so it came to pass that Maidenhead United secured their position in the "Title Sponsor Vacant" South for next season with a full seven days to spare thanks to a fairly comfortable win over a shambolic Bromley outfit. 
It was one of those rare days when everything comes together. The sun was shining, the biggest crowd of the season turned up and the players delivered when it mattered. Add in the results elsewhere and Maidenhead United will have the uncommon privilege of a last week of the season which matters little beyond the odd move up or down the table.
Going into the game both sides were woefully out of form, Bromley having lost seven consecutive games and not even managing a goal in the last five, whilst Maidenhead had a record of nine defeats in their last ten outings. Bromley's disastrous form was rumoured to be down to off the field problems leading to a demotivated team and in truth what took the field at York Road was the worst team I had seen since Truro City visited back in September. This is very unusual for a Mark Goldberg eleven and its clear much needs to change at Hayes Lane if they are to start next season in better shape than they are finishing this one.
Maidenhead if not quite able to score at will were certainly able to freely create chances throughout the game, with just the usual Magpie defensive frailty meaning the result remained in doubt to the dying minutes. Harry Pritchard was the man to shine for United with a dazzling performance of wingplay, alternating between firing in deadly crosses with some old fashioned mazy Charlie Charles style dribbling.
Kicking off down the slope Maidenhead took the game to Bromley from the outset, Bobby Behzadi creating an early chance typical of the match with a long ball over the top which found Richard Pacquette only for the striker to balloon his shot over the bar.
The first goal arrived on the quarter hour mark when Pritchard danced round the defence in the penalty area to set up David Pratt who swept the ball home from close range. Obviously being Maidenhead this was not the start of a comfortable afternoon and Bromley equalised five minutes later when Darren Waldren headed in from a corner.
With Pritchard in his pomp though there was little chance of Maidenhead being pinned back, the winger rattling the crossbar before delivering a free kick which eluded everyone. Not to be denied he then lobbed the ball over the top to Reece Tison-Lascaris who rounded the keeper with typical aplomb to score before collecting the plaudits from the crowd behind the goal.
After the break Pritchard continued where he had left off, firing a humdinger of a shot goalward which forced a great save from the feet of the goalkeeper, he then delivered a corner onto the head of Pacquette to double the margin of the lead. As Maidenhead started to relax the game looked in danger of turning into a rout as Pritchard again set up Pacquette twice more, the first effort going wide, the second hitting the back of the net only to be disallowed for a push by another United player.
The lack of discipline shown by Bromley all afternoon boiled over with twenty minutes remaining when captain Waldren was sent off after tussling on the ground with Tison-Lascaris, but the ten men showed the resilience to pull a goal back with nine minutes to go from another set piece, a free kick from the right side of the halfway line finding Pierre Joseph-Dubois who applied a deft finish to beat Billy Lumley. Any terrace jitters were soon dispelled though when within two minutes Tison-Lascaris set up to Pacquette to restore the two goal lead. There was even time for Pacquette to miss a chance for a hat trick before the final whistle went and the result from Sutton United more or less confirmed Maidenhead United had beaten the drop again.There will be plenty of time to reflect in May on a season which promised more than it delivered in league terms so for now its best to enjoy the moment when everyone did their bit to ensure the three points were won. There was James the mascot leading the team out (perhaps the sight of him holding hands with Michael Pook defused a little tension), injured Mark Nisbet wearing his lucky pink shirt and tie, and most importantly Charlie the dog whose York Road record now reads attended three won three. I think I'll buy him a season ticket in the summer.

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