Clive discusses his trip to Maidenhead.
Although until recently it looked a forlorn hope that we would still have anything to play for on Easter Monday, Maidenhead was always a “must” in my awayday plans.
It ticked so many boxes. Very easily trainable, not an awfully long journey, ground close to the station and son home during his school holidays. (For those that don’t know, I haven’t sent him to Eton: he is an early career teacher making a good fist of Educating Stockport).
As luck would have it, recent results have put us within spitting distance of regaining our rightful place as the 112th best team in England and Wales, so the 8.54 to Paddington was swamped by several hundred travelling Gulls. Fortunately a couple of friends-of-friends work on the railway and many of us were travelling on £6 tickets- cheers Jonny & James!
Conversation and cider flowed freely, with Teresa May anecdotes and a healthy dose of socialism featuring prominently. We reached Reading and changed trains boisterously, making use of the escalators in the now state of the art station.
Arriving at Maidenhead at midday we were met & filmed by a small contingent of boys in blue who were earning some very easy overtime.
Most of pre-match was spent in the imaginitively titled Maiden’s Head pub, where a pint of Guinness was only 50p cheaper than the train fare, but where we met with Jules Nixon, Alan Wills and several more of my fellow Yellows Twitter stars. We had, as they say, some mighty craic.
We were joined by Alex, a Yeovil supporting school mate of Matty’s. He’s a very funny lad who enjoys the social side of the game every bit as much as me. He was disappointed to discover that “Rachel Villavox” had not made the trip, because he said he had enjoyed some Twitter beef with her! I defended our feisty female colleague and said he had chosen a worthy adversary. He took all the abuse we could give in very good part and I’m pretty confident he will come over from the dark side one day.
Refuelling was comprehensive, and included my annual Jagerbomb. Honestly, I cannot see fr the life of me what the attraction is! We made a further pitstop at the Spoons, where the police failed to prevent the first appearance of yellow pyro and where Matty and I joined a crossword- solving local who wished us all the best for the match.
Despite the substantial away following and the ramshackle facilities, everyone got into the ground without any issues, and the rain relented for a sunny couple of hours which will live long in the memory. There are few better sights than your devastatingly handsome centre forward powering a header past the keeper in front of his own fans, and Frank Nouble’s double has cemented his bond with an increasingly optimistic fanbase.o
Both strikers already have their own songs, which were bellowed with gusto throughout the afternoon and through the streets afterwards. Also on the singing theme, there were many renditions of my favourite ditty- you know the one. The one where an equine friend is given a prolonged send off.
Thoughts of work the following morning were far from our minds as we emptied Sainsburys fridges of industrial quantities of Stella Artois and managed a couple more Dublin cocktails in a beer garden before catching the train home.
Despite its persistent belief that the Conservative Party best represents its interests, Maidenhead is a good day out if your own interests revolve around drinking beer, winning away and singing Goodbye Horse. Let’s hope we can do it all again next year.
2 thoughts on “TT GROUNDHOPPING – Maidenhead United (A) by Clive Hayward”
A fun read, but please leave out the political comments. It alienates readers and is totally irrelevant to the subject matter.
Thanks Byehorse…always an entertaining read as usual!
York up next then on to Chesterfield the following Tuesday, hope you can make the journey