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Anyone For A Pint?
Three more points on the board but still some issues to be addressed. By: Max Bygraves 24/10/2022
Maidenhead United H
22/10/2022   (Click date for match details)
League 2022-2023
W  2- 1
Attendance: 1480  (77 Away)

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2-1. What feels like the most common of results but the first of its kind at home this season. Given recent score lines in the league, to only see three goals in a game almost felt like being short changed.

It was a solid, unspectacular win against a well-organised, functional Maidenhead United. For much of the second half, despite the stats suggesting otherwise, the visitors arguably looked more likely to score, but lacked a bit of cutting edge.

The fact we ground it out in the way we did was a huge positive. Resolute at the back in the later stages and patient for the chance to fall at the other end.

Nicke Kabamba got his 10th of the season already. For parts of the game he was quiet, but his contribution to the team is massive. It’s clear he’s playing with huge confidence and this is no more evident than when he gets the ball to his feet, in almost any situation. The calm and nonchalant manner in which he controlled the ball and kept it away from their defence on several occasions was most impressive. What a terrific signing he is proving to be.

If you’ve spotted a pattern in the calls for Sean Shields to be more involved in these articles, then that’s intended. The winger made a big difference after his arrival from the bench. You have to wonder if there’s more there with the manager - he offers the team something different than any other player in that position. He’s got to get back in from the start.

Always nice to see a young player take their chance, too. A great moment for Marvin Armstrong to grab the winner; perhaps that’ll prove a key turning point in truly kicking off his Barnet career. It was bold to take off Gorman, but he wasn’t having a great game and the change very much paid off.

On Tuesday, Brennan will be banned from the dugout for a late red card after the failure to award Kanu a penalty; instead booking him for a dive. The manager’s apoplectic response did appear somewhat understandable from the view on the other side. It looked a clear penalty with no hint of simulation. Unfortunately, the norm does appear to be a minimum of one howler of a decision per game from referees in this league. Painful.

The day before the game, a long awaited club statement (not of the managerial axing kind) on recent goings on off the pitch at The Hive. Note we have tried to focus on actual football first here.

The fact there was some communication and the detail to it can certainly be taken as a positive, although you’ll have to excuse much cynicism towards much of it.

Just why does the scoreboard need to come from the Far East? By and large, it just said ‘wait until next season,’ on most matters. The little snippets pointing out the good bits the chairman has done can’t help but raise a bit of a chuckle either. Attempts at much further wool being pulled over collective eyes.

The hand dryers worked in the toilets for the first time this season. This should not be something that’s applauded given that’s what they are supposed to do, but at least somethings been done about it. It’ll be interesting to see how much else changes other than if the door is continuously loudly banged by those that still feel they have the energy to.

The bar has to be a priority next. Yesterday, in jovial spirits thanks to a win, we decided we’d have a celebratory swift one at full time, making the most of the new 20% off initiative. £7.36 for two pints is an extremely reasonable offer, credit where it’s due.

However, it was hard to enjoy it all that much as one of just six people (from a relatively healthy home crowd of 1300+) who stayed behind for this. In an empty bar, with bare walls around the very quiet televisions. It felt like the equivalent of being in a depressing nightclub after the lights have come on and the music has stopped. Time to drink up quickly and go.

A glut of games coming in the next few weeks. The league table is looking pretty positive at this stage and with the fixtures up ahead, perhaps with Bromley on Tuesday excepted, there’s a good chance of keeping within touching distance of the play offs. Expectations need to be tinged with some realism, but let’s hope we can keep things exciting for as long as possible anyway. After September’s wobble, the ship has been somewhat steadied. A clean sheet, along with a win is no doubt the next aim.

As a final aside, my sat nav took my via Burnt Oak to the ground on Saturday. That was a first. I’ve lived in London since 1998 but had remained very unfamiliar with that corner of the capital until now. My word. The humanity…

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