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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 19 October 2013


A one word headline which is just about the only one which is appropriate for the performance last Saturday. On a day which could have been something of a showcase for the team to bolster home crowds for the coming months, the deficiencies of the Magpies were laid bare. In short it was an object lesson in the only two things that matter in football, scoring goals and stopping the other team doing the same. In an age where statistics have been sanctified to the point of obscuring what really matters, its easy to forget that some statistics are more important than other. We are bombarded by numbers in all walks of life as people scratch around for "proof" of their success often uttering that ridiculous line about the facts speaking for themselves, and yet in doing so it reduces debate to a meaningless bombardment of numbers.
Football is no stranger to this debate as Graham Westley ludicrously revealed recently that he was "winning" when the results suggested he was losing. So it was on Saturday when Maidenhead may have won in terms of possession and goal attempts, but definitely lost when goals scored and conceded are considered.
This was illustrated perfectly in the game's opening stages. Starting at a high tempo befitting a local derby Maidenhead went close with efforts from Danny Green and Reece Tison-Lascaris only for Slough to return the serve when Scott Harris drew a good save from Elvijs Putnins and then put the loose ball wide. The next attack though saw Putnins beaten when Harris converted Darren Wheeler's cross.
United worked hard to get back into the game, Michael Malcolm having a shot well saved by Jake Somerville. The equaliser eventually came seven minutes ahead of the interval, Tison-Lascaris displaying his trademark mercurial dribble to find space on the left to cross to Danny Green. All this hard work was undone by the break though as Slough scored twice to ultimately put the result beyond doubt. Firstly Ed Smith scored from the penalty spot after Ollie Burgess had been fouled by Harry Pritchard. Smith then turned provider when his corner was flicked on by Wheeler to the far post where Dave Woozley headed home.
Slough's superiority was confirmed early in the second half when Smith ran clear. Putnins got a hand to the shot which remained goal bound only for Mark Nisbet to clear off the line. For their part the Magpies may have attacked wholeheartedly but for all the decent approach work which often delivered a bona fide supply of forward passes and crosses, the Slough defence was more than adequately well organised to combat the threat posed by Maidenhead's attackers. Roared on by fantastic support at the Bell End, Maidenhead huffed and puffed in an effort to get back into the game, but a Green chance midway through the half aside, never really came close to halving the deficit.
The final whistle saw the team showing just acknowledge to the support, now within the dressing a plan needs to be hatched to convert the talent of Green, Tison-Lascaris and Pritchard into goals, whilst learning from the way Slough defended as a team from 1 to 11 without the ball to shore up a defence which has now conceded fourteen goals in five games. It would also help if Drax stopped providing the opposition with their motivation with pre match comments in the press about "maulings" and "Cup Finals"
Off the pitch it was good to renew our rivalry with Slough Town. It is Maidenhead's real local derby, with the Boxing Day clash in 2000 being the best example in my time at the club. It was only mystifying why more Slough fans didn't take advantage of the £5 entry offer, as York Road must be easier get to for most than their current home by the M40 in Beaconsfield.
Speaking of which the crowd of 366 was a decent response to the half price promotion considering it was only publicised in social media.This was the biggest crowd for any County Cup game that United have been involved in since th 2007 final against MK Dons at Wycombe (730), and the biggest at York Road since Marlow came to town for a semi final in 1998 (420), indeed you have to go back to 1977 for the last time in this competition at least a tie at home to Slough drew a bigger crowd (600). I hope the watching Berks & Bucks Officials took note, Slough's certainly did as their quarter final tie at home to Wycombe will also cost just £5 to get in.

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