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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.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Magpies left feeling like April Fools

Local aircraft beware of long high balls to Richard Pacquette
With the full intention of sounding like a broken record I don't like football trips to urban Hampshire and yesterday provided no evidence for the defence as Maidenhead slipped to another defeat by an all too inevitable late goal.
Take Courage!

The customary Easter public transport meltdown meant I opted to travel to Farnborough Main station, which despite providing a rather more upmarket residential approach to the ground remained in true Hampshire style unfriendly to pedestrians.
The traditional Courage sign still standing outside my pre match watering hole, the Ship Inn, correctly suggested a time warp of a pub which was confirmed when the pub TV displayed full coverage of the Bayern Munich v Arsenal match from a few weeks ago rather than the live FA Cup tie. 

The White Elephant
Arriving at Cherrywood Road in time for kick off it felt odd to see more ground improvements in view of Farnborough's continuing financial strife with non league football's biggest white elephant of a stand still closed to the public.
Following Saturday's defeat, Drax opted to change Maidenhead's wide attacking options by selecting Ramone Rose and Reece Tison-Lascaris in favour of Harry Pritchard and Chris Flood. Rose slotted straight into Pritchard's left wing position whilst David Pratt was placed on the other flank to provide Tison-Lascaris the opportunity to repeat his marvelous goal running from the heart of midfield in the corresponding fixture at York Road in September.
Farnborough took charge of the game from the kick off and almost took the lead as early as the third minute when a Richard Peniket shot was pushed wide by the outstretched hand of Billy Lumley. Just past the quarter of an hour mark though Peniket got his name on the scoresheet. The goal came from a corner which was headed onto the crossbar by Dean Inman. Peniket was first to the rebound and although a defender cleared the referee awarded a goal.
Farnborugh were now rampant and looked like doubling their lead on more than one occasion but as the half drew on, Maidenhead worked their way back into the game. Initially the Magpies attacks were made to look a little silly, not helped by another bobbly pitch and strong wind which led to several efforts only being worthy of a "mind the new stand" comment. 
We got a corner!
Yet with a minute to go before the break a rare corner from the right saw the ball end up at the feet of Michael Pook on the edge of the penalty area, his drilled shot flying low into the back of the net.
The lift of a goal persisted into the second half as Maidenhead enjoyed their best spell of the game, albeit after some committed defending denied Farnborough the opportunity to promptly restore their lead.
The United wide right players now really came into their own creating two golden opportunities for Richard Pacquette to complete the Magpie comeback within the first ten minutes of the second half. Firstly a cross from Pratt found Pacquette free near the penalty spot only for the striker to balloon the ball over the bar. Then more frustratingly good work from Leon Solomon created an even easier chance for Pacquette who collected the ball on the edge of the six yard box only to offer a meek back pass to the keeper. Its moments like this that lend themselves to pontification about their impact on confidence, with the obvious conclusion in this instance of a booking for dissent midway through the second half.
Maidenhead continued to have the upper hand but Farnborough's counter attacks became increasingly ominous with the inevitable sucker punch coming three minutes from time when Nic Ciardini fired home the winner from outside the penalty area. So the United faithful were feeling looking like April Fools for naively believing in the hope given by the equaliser as the end result saw the Magpies slip into the bottom three at the business end of the season.

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