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, 21 September 2014

Super Hooper

In today's papers you will see pages of in depth analysis of Saturday's football. Primarily this will take the form of probing a welter of post match quotes, there'll be the odd chalk board and pop psychology on the mental state of some of the sport's more outlandish characters. All of this though is so much froth to a game whose appeal is it's simplicity, to whit scoring more goals than the other team. This crude reduction was reflected in cruel fashion at York Road yesterday where Havant & Waterlooville left with all three points thanks to the effectiveness of their finishing in contrast to the ineffectiveness of Maidenhead United in front of goal.
However with the Hawks starting the game on the back of a run of six wins in seven outings which had taken them to fourth place in the table, and scoring in the third minute, there was an immediate fear of a opposition goal deluge. The opening goal itself was well crafted, with a smart defence splitting pass from Bradley Bubb being collected on the edge of the penalty area by JJ Hooper who applied a fine finish to give Elvijs Putnins no chance of stopping his shot bound for the far corner. What was most impressive though was the Maidenhead response to conceding a goal, as they tore into their opponents and enjoyed their best spell of the game.
Soon after the restart, Adrian Clifton crossed into the penalty area to Reece Tison-Lascaris, only for the youngster's shot from close range to be blocked on the line by goalkeeper Ryan Young. The Magpies went onto pepper the penalty area with testing balls, Dave Tarpey and Ashley Nicholls both shooting wide.
This profligacy in front of goal was then shown up again by Hooper twenty five minutes into the first half. The striker picked up the ball in his own half, crossing the half way and running unchallenged towards the United goal before unleashing a shot from twenty five yards out which flew into the top corner. Hooper who only back in April had sealed what had been Maidenhead's bleakest defeat of last season, had essentially confirmed the destination of the points with this early brace of goals.
United continued to push for a goal in much the same vein as before and on the half hour mark Tashan Adeyinka received the ball in the clear inside the penalty area, but he was not able to beat Young who dived to his right to save one handed. Later in the half Leon Solomon cleared off the line from Josh Huggins and with the half time whistle came the end of any serious attempts on goal for the rest of the afternon.
In the second half, Havant were content to sit back and defend their lead, ably dealing with Maidenhead's attacking threat whilst Hooper and then substitute Shamir Mullings lurked up front to offer the promise of a third goal.
The final whistle signalled a defeat which became inevitable once Maidenhead were unable to take their chances, a fact all the more galling for the absence of a number of key players in defence and midfield. Ironically Havant, who have been perennial Conference South achievers, look like they might be able to sustain a promotion challenge this season having shipped in a contingent of players from Farnborough in the form of Hooper, Huggins, Bubb, Donnelly and Ciardini.

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