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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, 1 October 2017


23 Seasons watching Maidenhead United
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Part 7: 2000-01
Life in the Isthmian Premier Division seemed a piece of cake for the newly promoted Magpies as they trounced Harrow Borough 4-1 on a sunny opening day of the season at York Road. The loss of striker Chuk Agudosi to Croydon and goalkeeper Garath Ormshaw to retirement was shrugged off as debutants defender Andy Morley and midfielder Matty Glynn started their Maidenhead career with a goal.
A third summer signing, Richard Barnard, proved to be a more than adequate replacement for Ormshaw but it took eight matches for him to keep a clean sheet as United struggled to adjust to playing at a higher level.
Only three days after their opening day triumph, the Magpies were taught a footballing lesson at Billericay, one of four consecutive defeats before fellow strugglers Dulwich Hamlet were beaten by the odd goal in five, the highlight being  a trademark strike from distance by Billy Cove.
A second win on the road in September at Croydon was much enjoyed. Not only as another defeat of the previous season’s champions but also as a first clean sheet shutting out Agudosi.
However this win barely stopped the rot. A cup tie at Hitchin which saw a goal from substitute Lee Channell, ended in acrimony with assistant manager Carl Taylor upbraiding fans for their lack of support for the striker who had replaced Agudosi. Hitchin were beaten on penalties in the replay at York Road which set up a somewhat exotic trip to Nottinghamshire in the next round which ended in defeat at Hucknall.
By the time Christmas had arrived there were just two more wins, one in the FA Trophy at Hampton and three points earned at home to Basingstoke, but the tide turned with a Boxing Day derby win over Slough. Despite the freezing conditions, there was an electric atmosphere at York Road with an Obi Ulasi goal the difference between the two teams.
Seasonal weather looked likely to halt the revival but a sterling effort by HItchin supporters to clear the Top Field pitch of snow four days later, allowed the Magpies to claim another three points. A week later I joined in the operation to make the York Road pitch playable for the visit of Aldershot, the title favourites being trounced 3-0 in front of a season’s best crowd of 1,213, the win capped by an absolutely stunning individual goal by Adrian Allen.
Having made some headway in the fight against relegation, United were entitled to be distracted by the FA Trophy, two wins in a week over Enfield and Braintree setting up an unforgettable trip to Blyth Spartans. Matt Glynn’s early goal at Croft Park was worthy of winning the tie, but Spartans prevailed with a late winner, leaving the supporters to enjoy the delights of Whitley Bay, later that evening.
Progress was also made in the County Cup as Slough left York Road with nothing again, followed by Reading and Windsor to see the Magpies reach the final once more. Whether this would be a consolation prize following relegation, or a party to celebrate staying up remained in the balance with the wet winter combining with cup runs to create the by now traditional fixture backlog.
Twelve matches were still to be played with twenty six days of the season remaining, with the league firm in their insistence that the full programme be completed by May 5th. This left the threat that the final day might see some teams play twice but the results were such that this was not necessary leaving a curious final table with four clubs short of the 42 game mark.
The outlook was starting to look bleak  for the Magpies when they lost the Easter Monday return derby against fellow strugglers Slough. Another defeat at eventual runners up Canvey Island two days later meant just four points had been earned from five fixtures in April with the following weekend bringing two games over the two days.
The first at home to Purfleet provided the ideal opportunity to for a much needed win, as the opposition were so short of personnel that they had to put an outfield player in goal for the whole match. Maidenhead were unable to take advantage though and lost 2-1. Only 24 hours later, hopes rose with a hard fought 1-0 win at Gravesend & Northfleet. Reading loan striker Nathan Tyson giving the Magpies an early lead which they hung onto.
Completing the double over bottom markers Dulwich set up a match on the final Tuesday of the season against Carshalton, who were also battling to stay up. Two goals from Glynn made sure that yet again Maidenhead fans were celebrating at York Road in May as the three points meant the Magpies had made it into a second season in the Isthmian League Premier Division. Carshalton were relegated alongside Dulwich and Slough, although the Rebels Wexham Park curse over the Magpies held good to the end, as United lost the Berks & Bucks Cup Final to Chesham in their last appearance at the ground.
With thanks to Mark Smith’s book One For Sorrow Two For Joy for the statistical content of this series.

To read more about this season visit www.mufcheritage.com


Lenny Baryea said...

Opening day at Harrow. Ging for Richard. Think only the Macleods and Les participated. Scalps dyed red!

Croydon away. Gold coins for Chuk. His face when, long after the final whistle, the Tram doors opened and there we were again!

Hitchin in the Cup. Post-match argy bargy with Carl. I think both sides, in the long run, appreciated the other all the more.

Surely the first and only time that Hucknall has been described as ‘somewhat exotic’?!

The atmosphere for the Boxing Day game with Slough was indeed electric – as good as I can remember – and I can still picture Obi’s goal to this day.

Hitchin away in the League – the ‘snow game’ – one of my favourite Maidenhead matches. The photo atop this post was framed on my bedside table for many years.

Aldershot! Adie Allen’s worldie. Nuff said.

The standing ovation as we left the Blyth Spartans clubhouse, followed by the night out in Whitley Bay – truly legendary stuff.

The final at Slough was a downer, though, summed up by my Mum getting hit on the head by a wayward golf ball from the driving range as we exited the ground.

Steve said...

The Harrow game was at home. We started the 01/02 season away at Harrow which I think is what you are referring to.
Hucknall exotic as the first time I'd seen Maidenhead play anywhere that could be described as north