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, 2 March 2014

Magpies successfully chase the Dragons

A satisfyingly non conclusive afternoon in North Hampshire which probably saw both managers rue a missed opportunity for three points but ultimately happy to settle for one.
Although by rights I should despise Basingstoke for their Hampshire origins, they have generally avoided the financial excesses that sweep across the clubs of this county from Portsmouth to Aldershot, from Farnborough to Bashley and many, many more. The worst accusation that I could currently level at the club is that's is simply a little dull. A feeling that evidently is shared by the local populace given yesterday's attendance of 272, of which the last two digits were provided by those travelling to support the Magpies.
It really felt like an Isthmian league game yesterday, the dirge of a club song and the poor excuse for a dragon mascot, hinting at a performance from both sides that tried but failed to provide the quality to win the game not helped by an understandably heavy surface.
Buoyed up by two decent performances on the road in the last week, Maidenhead flattered to deceive in the opening period of the game which was dominated by the hosts who deservedly took the lead in the eleventh minute when Jordace Holder-Spooner finished from close range following a corner.
As the first half began to head for the interval the Magpies began to make headway, particularly down the left hand side through Harry Pritchard, however with a distinctly rusty Richard Pacquette leading the line, United failed to create a chance to test Louis Wells in the Town goal. Wells though was at the centre of the first half's main talking point when he brought down Harry Grant as the midfielder drove into the left side of the penalty area, the referee deciding there was no infringement.
After the break, Maidenhead were back to square one when they quickly conceded a goal three minutes after the restart. Andrew Jenkinson met a Nathan Smart cross from the right wing at the far post. His looping header was scraped by the fingertip of Elvijs Putnins which was not enough to divert the ball from its goalward path.
With the deficit doubled, any hope of a way back into the game looked far distant for the Magpies but with Erskine having replaced Pacquette at the interval, United's attacking endeavour acquired a cutting edge. This soon paid dividends with only eight minutes gone in the second half when Pritchard applied a neat finish to Danny Green's cross which was cut back from the right byline, Pritchard signalling his joy to his proud parents behind the goal.
The goal was all the incentive Maidenhead needed to press for an equaliser with its origin being suggested by the way Wells was only able to push a Green shot around the post. From the resulting corner Wells made a superb reaction save after the cross had deflected off one of his own players.
Similarly Wells was unable to hold on to a Green free kick, possibly put off by the face pulling antics of Pritchard hiding behind the wall, however the left winger couldn't quite get to the loose ball.
With twelve minutes remaining though it was a case of third time lucky for Maidenhead. This time it was Pritchard's turn to have a shot parried by Wells, Erskine being quickest to the loose ball to sweep home the equaliser, his first goal for the club. This was understandably greeted by relief by the big forward even allowing for the fact that he had spent the vast majority of his United career since signing in October playing in central defence.
With all three points suddenly up for grabs again Basingstoke pushed hard for a winner but couldn't quite fashion a chance despite a few promising situations from counter attacks. Thus the home team were probably a little more frustrated at the final whistle, although the momentum created by United's comeback meant a draw was a fair result.

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