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, 24 November 2013

Usual shower at Bath

Bath City away has become an unmissable date in the Maidenhead United fixture list despite the evidence of every trip suggesting it shouldn't be. Yesterday was no exception as Maidenhead United slumped to maintain their 100% record against Bath City at Twerton Park with a sixth consecutive defeat. This wasn't to be the only constant on a day which very much felt like a repeat in the life of the Magpies.
What could be a leisurely cruise by train down to Bath from Paddington was as usual interrupted by First Great Western incompetence, although at least Reg tried to make me feel better about having to shell out for a taxi to the ground after missing my connection to Oldfield Park.
The journey also brought worrying news of a Magpie defensive crisis which on arrival at the ground didn't get any better as it was revealed that in addition to Curtis Ujah failing to recover from his knee damaged at Eastbourne, Matt Ruby had woken up with an abcess, and Mark Nisbet had injured himself in training. At least the club captain was able to go to Slough to watch Trophy opponents Daventry, although of course he will miss next week's tie through suspension.
So it came to pass that Jacob Erskine found himself lining up as a makeshift centre back. The much travelled striker made a good fist of his new role as Maidenhead gamely hung on to ultimately forlorn hopes of a point against a Bath team which failed to build on an early lead.
Lining up in an abomination of the classic black and white stripes, which should have led to the home team being forced to wear their away kit so the Magpies could show everyone what a proper black and white kit should look like, Bath were on top from the word go. In the first twenty minutes both Alfie Mawson and Leon Solomon had to take last ditch action to clear the ball off the line after Elvijs Putnins was beaten, before inevitably David Pratt scored the only goal of the game with a header which went in off the post midway through the first half.
After the goal, Bath sat back but despite enjoying more possession Maidenhead were unable to fashion a goal scoring opportunity to test City keeper Jason Mellor. Meanwhile off the pitch any tedium was broken by an attempt to celebrate the news of the Monty Python reunion with the reenactment of a sketch from the Life of Brian.
The second half began with Bath again pushing hard for a goal to consolidate their lead, with again Solomon keeping the deficit to one with a goal line clearance. The game continued in fairly even fashion with the key moment in terms of the result coming with twenty one minutes remaining when Daniel Brown rose to meet a corner at the near post with a firm header. The ball was goalbound only to be blocked on the line by a somewhat unwitting Mellor.
This proved to be the only chance for an equaliser but with Bath failing to score on their repeated counter attacks, hopes remained until the final whistle which eventually confirmed the inevitable defeat allowing an excellent Maidenhead support to troop off to the bar and continue to sample the fine ales on offer across the city.
For me that meant the Old Castle Inn next to the ground where the locals hospitality was reflected by the orderly queuing system in place. A couple more in the hotel opposite the station offered the opportunity for reflection to ensure all the boxes of a day trip to Bath were ticked, I even managed the spotters badge of seeing Ken Loach on the Twerton terraces.
All in all a day which confirmed that this season will be a long slog to the finish and therefore opportunities that a trip to a place like Bath offer need to be taken to the full.At least the news about the new stand to be revealed at Friday' s Supporters Association meeting will give everyone something to hang onto through the dark winter months.

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