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, 28 July 2013

Warming Up


I've never been a big fan of pre season friendlies as for me they mark the beginning of the end of the cricket season rather than the advent of the new football campaign. Still with the ECB doing their damnedest to ensure there is little or no meaningful cricket to watch on a midsummer Saturday I headed north to Wingate & Finchley's well appointed ground in the aptly named Summers Lane to catch a glimpse of what would await me at York Road when I returned from my holiday in mid August.
Any notion of watching incognito disappeared when I was spotted by a local member of the non league Twitterati Mike Bayly on arrival in the bar. Catching up with the North London scene, two mysteries emerged: how homeless Hendon are attracting big names to play for them and what is the point of Boreham Wood? As the match kicked off we exchanged info on our respective XIs, Maidenhead appearing to field what may well be a first choice line up come August whilst Wingate included the odd trialist along with ex Magpie Dean Mason.
Thus the first half went as expected with United dominating, new attacking signings Danny Green and Michael Malcolm impressing most. However although enough chances were created to provide an opportunity for a half time declaration, the superb form of trialist goalkeeper Cain Davies and the profligacy of the United attack led to just the one score which was equalled ahead of the interval from the penalty spot.
For Maidenhead it was fitting that Malcolm opened the scoring in the 27th minute, as it was his free kick which led to the corner from which he scored. Malcolm went closing from another free kick from distance later in the half and the way he combined with strike partner Richard Pacquette bodes well for the season ahead. Likewise in Danny Green it looks like Maidenhead will have a right winger to balance the prodigious talent of Harry Pritchard on the left.
Finchley's equaliser came in rather fortunate circumstances when an innocuous cross reared up and struck Curtis Ujah's hand with no attacker in sight. Leon Smith calmly despatched the spot kick. 
After the break Maidenhead switched their front four for the raw talents of Reece Tison-Lascaris, Anthony Mendy, Ryan De Bastien and a left sided player simply known as Mo. With Davies not required to exert himself to the same extent as the first half, it was Wingate who came closest to a winner when they hit the cross bar thirteen minutes into the second half. The main value to the second half from a Maidenhead point of view was to get a glimpse of other new faces such as Matt Ruby and Wada Ahmidi
With faces put to names the final whistle signalled the end of my pre season, my next match falling on the opening day of the Skrill South season at Whitehawk.

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