Thursday, 29 September 2005

Mark's quiet Lament.......

This morning is Thursday. Thursday is usually heavily laced with optimism, almost better than Friday which has been tainted slightly by the 'dress down' concept; wearing jeans to the office
gets many people too excited, for reasons unknown that makes the whole thing nothing more than a false promise that manifests itself through the realization that the weekend only really lasts until Sunday morning. When thoughts of free time are taken hostage by Monday's heavy gravitational pull. You know you should be making the most of the day, but you're overcome by what is about to follow, of course you needn't worry because more than likely it'll be a fairly accurate reconstruction of what happened the previous week, which begs the question why so many people aren't in fact quite brilliant at their jobs. Goodness, if any day is need of marketing make over it's Sunday, because at present it should really be called Work Week Eve.

Whatever way we look at it, The summit of mount Thursday provides us with a moral boosting
view of Saturday. So much so that you want to savour it, Thursday's vision of Saturday could supersede it if it weren't for football. Saturday is afterall; football day. At Burridge much time is spent droning on at great length about team formations, the merits of moulded studs as opposed to screw in studs, often thorough autopsy reveals conclusively that the opposition who'd beaten us comprehensively were in fact utterly inferior to us, on the grounds that their meagre status didn't provide us with the motivation necessary to cut them to pieces with our play.

Recent times have seen new words and phrases enter our post match pub discussion without invite or notice, words such as mortgage & decorating. So often in the past my clumsy challenges have been met with protest; 'I've got to go to work on Monday' would be the dullards plea, so often I'd wanted to say that Giros can be delivered but resisted. But now at 27 I sit on Thursday's mount and I can see Saturday and it is not football day any longer, it is becoming thirty years old but still going to nightclubs with Bryn, will it ever end? Burridge's Saturday house is crumbling, internally disembowelled by our stale ranting. Three straight defeats are slowly destroying the fragile illusion that we've cherished - like David Bowie's netherworld in labyrinth - as we treat the ball like a Jehovah's witness at the doorstep, with contempt, we send it on its way to the neighbour we don't know, namely the opposition. So here's to garden centres, wall papering the spare bedroom and growing up. Will there be a place for me there? I don't know, but at least I've football to fall back on.

Tuesday, 27 September 2005


For those of you on holidays during our presentation in June, here's me slicing some tender cuts. Photographed by Dykey.

Sunday, 25 September 2005

Burridge AFC 2 - 2 Wickham Dynamos

Sunday 25th September

Although Burridge maintained their unbeaten record, they had to endure an afternoon filled with frustration which eventually became relief. The opening fifteen minutes illustrated Burridge's dominance, almost everyone enjoying the company of the ball. But when possession was lost the ball was flung in by Wickham from the right, Mark Sanderson wasn't goal side, and his last ditch challenge saw the ball slide into the net off the grateful Dynamo forward. Two minutes later history repeated itself as Sanderson dragged his opposing number down in the penalty area, he escaped punishment, but the penalty was successful and Burridge were two goals down in a game they had controlled.

The second half began perfectly for Burridge. Greg Baker's Right wing cross was dispatched via a Bryn Schwodler diving header. The comeback had begun, but not without drama, as Baker received his marching orders after a sharp disagreement involving choice language with the linesman. The setback spurred Burridge on, and they made it two each when Paul Andrews followed in to smash home from close range to save a point for Burridge.

3-5-2 Dave Hopkins, Ross Bryant, Kev Willsher, Mark Sanderson, Paul Dyke, Scott Burnet, Rich Allan, Jay Schwodler, Greg Baker, Paul Andrews, Bryn Schwodler

Scorers: Bryn Schwodler, Paul Andrews

Other scores:
Paxton 2 - 4 Waterlooville social
AFC Spotted Cow 5 - 3 West Meon
Aquaseal 5 - 0 Gems
Spinnaker 4 - 2 Spotted Cow

PS Next week's Hant's Cup game in Cowes is 2pm kick off and they wear blue, so bring your red kit.

Burridge Afc 0 - 2 Cadnam

Success; is it the ability to move from one failure to another without a loss of enthusiasm? For Burridge's sake, one hopes this to be true, because in sport one has to maintain not only optimism, but a firm belief of ability. As Chekhov said, "Man is what he believes," but when defeat becomes a regular bedfellow, one has to be strong if they're to avoid self pity. Indeed Burridge had to hold firm to such maxims, as Dave Hopkins was called open to steer wide of his goal at point blank range. Their undoing came from Cadnam's number ten - I don't recall if he was wearing that jersey, but his performance was that of the traditional player who would have. His assurance and strength on the ball were self evident; and when Paul Andrews jockeyed him across the eighteen yard line, many would have thought that an attacking opportunity had vanished. But instead, the ball was shifted an extra yard right and sent high past Hopkins' right glove. Burridge arose to the challenge an arguably enjoyed their best spell of the game during the last fifteen minutes of the first half. As in wild frustration they looked to exasperate a season's frustration on their opponents; but their efforts were unable to produce any meaningful chances. Burridge's morale took a severe dent when Cadnam - and their number ten - increased the lead; it appeared that the back line had thwarted an attack, but from almost the by-line, the ball was wellied into across Hopkins into the top corner. Burridge had no answer and were condemned to their third straight defeat. (4-4-2) Dave Hopkins, Luke Sanderson, Jay Schwodler, Paul Dyke, Paul Andrews, Ross Bryant, Rich Allan, Mark Sanderson, Mike Hogg (Kristian Hewitt) Carl Godwin, Dean Wall Other Results: Capital 1 - 1 Academicals, Comrades 1 - 1 Priory, Survey 0 - 2 Burridge Sports, Spartans 0 - 2 Solent.

Tuesday, 20 September 2005


Saturday 24th September, home to Cadnam.


I had a terrible night sleep last night; I was dreaming about Burridge, Burridge, Burridge and our player shortage nightmare, and it got mixed up with the New Orleans flooding and the American television show: Lost. Burridge are lost at sea, and if I may quote from that show, a line that is apt to our plight, 'the moth struggles to free himself from the cocoon, we could cut him loose now but he would perish, his struggle is nature's necessary way of making him stronger.'

Sunday, 18 September 2005

Spotted Cow 0 - 3 Burridge AFC

Sunday 18th September

Venue: Alexander Sports Ground

If you'd read up on previous reports, it would have been difficult to ignore the emphasis on Burridge's consistently sluggish starts to games. This encounter, bucked that trend somewhat dramatically; from the kick off something in the region of seven passes were purposefully exchanged, culminated by Jay Schwodler side footing a Paul Andrews cross into Spotted Cow's bottom corner. One - nil up in under ten seconds, illustrating some delicate passing and moving that was so elusive in the majority of the previous game.

Cow did begin begin to dictate the tempo of the game, Greg Baker had to remain diligent on the right flank as the opposition looked to feed their left winger, and it was clear to see that their midfield were confident in possession. Again Burridge remained resilient, Kevin Willsher and Paul Dyke winning more than their share of aerial challenges; and with Bryn Schwodler up front Burridge had a dangerous outlet to counter attack.

This was illustrated plainly when Schwodler ran at the Cow defence, from right to left past two defenders before drilling back across the goalkeeper with his left boot (his new boots, I might add) to give Burridge breathing space. A third came soon after as Jay Schwodler maintained the family theme, by neatly redirecting Rich Allan's cross via his head for his second of the afternoon.

The second half saw further chances for Burridge, as more space appeared; Paul Andrews hit wide when clean through, who despite willing running and an assist, he remains without the first goal he so desires. Scott Burnet - who delivered his best performance so far this season - bustled his way through on goal, but was denied on the line by last ditch goalkeeping. Time was running out for Cow, who needed a quick score to get the momentum necessary to draw level, it never came and Burridge were always in relative control.

3-5-2 (3-2-3-2 depending on your point of view)

Dave Hopkins, Ross Bryant, Kev Willsher, Mark Sanderson, Scott Burnet, Paul Dyke, Rich Allan, Jay Schwodler, Greg Baker, Paul Andrews, Bryn Schwodler

Scorers: Jay Schwodler 2 , Bryn Schwodler

Aquaseal 6 -1 West Meon and Warnford
Gems FC 4 -1AFC Paxton
Waterlooville Social Clb 2 -2 Spinnaker
Wickham Dynamos 2 -7 AFC Spotted Cow

PS Regretfully many of us are still to pay outstanding booking fines. I know it's irritating when you're told you've been booked 4 times and you owe dough, BUT it's just the way it is I'm afraid. From here on in I'll keep record of it. Greg, Rich and Ross, remember you've been cautioned this season, and that means £8.

Tuesday, 13 September 2005


On the left is a picture of England the last time they won the Ashes in 1986. Here we are in 2005, finally winning them back after a 2-1 series win.

Monday, 12 September 2005


The Men's U.S. Open Final certainly lived up its star billing, as Andre Agassi (pictured in his big hair hey day) finally succumbed to Roger Federer in three sets; 3-6, 6-2, 6-7, 1-6. Agassi playing in his sixth U.S. final, and fifteenth Grand Slam final overall, took the game to Federer and the second set perfectly illustrated that Las Vegan born Agassi, aged 35, still has the armory to compete with the best. Sadly it wasn't enough, and this may be his last Grand Slam final, fifteen years after his first (a defeat to 19 year old Pete Sampras in the 1990 U.S. Final). When Agassi does retire he can be considered as one of the few players who's won each one of the four slams; Wimbledon in '92, the U.S. Open in '94 & '99, the French in '99 & Australian in '95, 00, 01 & 03. A feat not achieved by either McEnroe, Borg, or Sampras.

Agassi's Grand Slam Record:

U.S. Open:
Won: 94, 99
Runner Up: 90, 95, 02, 05

Australian Open:
Won: 95, 00, 01, 03

French Open:
Won: 99
Runner Up: 90, 91

Won: 92
Runner Up: 99

Sunday, 11 September 2005

Spinnaker 1-1 Burridge AFC

Sunday 11th September 2005
Venue: Osborne Road, Warsash

Once again Burridge started slowly. Despite the previous week's solid performance, they seemed unable to submit a genuine challenge to Spinnaker; who with superior control of the ball enjoyed suitable hospitality in the comfort of the Burridge half. But too frequently their end product was wayward; on several occasions the ball found itself unceremoniously whacked into gardens behind Dave Hopkins' goal. Such stoppages presented Burridge an opportunity to interrupt Spinnaker's momentum, and eventually they managed to break free into the unknown territories of the opposing area.

Picture above: Paul Andrews looks on, running the line may be crucial to grass roots football, but it's a job all despise for the flak you receive. Much of it from your own team!

The second half would have disappointed any casual passer-by who had hoped to see a bagful of goals. The frugal nature of the game saw each midfield stub out any possibility of domination, but it was a set piece that proved Burridge's undoing. A corner from their left was met from eight yards, and the header looped over Hopkins, to give Spinnaker the lead.

Pictures above: Burridge take stock at half-time; number 14 Jay Schwodler who had helped create a glorious opportunity for himself, tries to evade his marker.

Time was running out; and there had been little evidence to show that Burridge could offer a threat to Spinnaker's goal. But, in spite of their indifferent performance as an attacking force, Burridge had remained steadfast in commitment. Jay Schwodler passed meaningfully to Greg Baker on the right wing, who crossed to Schwodler who had continued his run - perfectly demonstrating the subtlety and effectiveness of the one-two - it appeared a finally crafted goal was at his mercy, but he misjudged the ball's flight, and sent it harmlessly wide via a shoulder.

Burridge did manage to revisit a similar position, and it presented them with an equalizing goal. Now inside the last ten minutes, Greg Baker again crossed from the right, this time deeper, to the back post finding Jay's younger brother Bryn. Who met the ball at an angle but guided a controlled header over the keeper's head in to the opposite top corner, a goal truly out of the coaching text book, heading the ball back into the direction it came! Still without a win, Burridge more importantly remain undefeated on Sundays.

3-5-2: Dave Hopkins, Kev Willsher, Mark Sanderson, Ross Bryant, Jay Schwodler, Paul Dyke, Scott Burnet, Rich Allan, Greg Baker, Lee Wood, (Paul Andrews), Bryn Schwodler.
H/T: 0-0
Scorer: Bryn Schwodler

Other scores:
AFC Paxton 2 - 5 West Meon & Warnford
AFC Spotted Cow 4 - 2 Spotted Cow
Gems 1 - 5 Waterlooville Social Club

Burridge Sports 3 v 0 Burridge AFC

Saturday 10th September

Burridge endured defeat in a game that offered the optimist little to cling too. Any signs of creativity were too often betrayed by an impatience that assumed the ball was unhappy to remain on the grass but instead be sent ambiguously skywards. (Picture: Dean Wall looks to turn his man)

At the other end their opponents exposed Burridge's consistent difficulty to defend crosses; if it were not for inept finishing and heroic goalkeeping the scoreline would have been worse still.

The third goal bought with it the inevitable air of resignation that was underlined by Burridge's failure to satisfy any curiosity of the opposition

goalkeeper's ability; who was redundant for the majority of the contest only facing a single shot.

3-5-2: Dave Hopkins, Paul Andrews, Greg Baker, Kristian Hewitt, (Mike Hogg), Jay Schwodler, Luke Sanderson, Paul Dyke, Rich Allan, Ross Bryant, Lee Wood, Dean Wall.

Other scores:
Cadnam 3-3 North Baddesley
Malvern 2-3 Comrades Res
Survey Res 1-5 Solent
Priory 0-3 Capital
Spartans 2-1 Academicals

Sunday, 4 September 2005

Waterlooville Social 2 - 2 Burridge

Sunday 4th September

Preparation couldn't be described as ideal (after the previous evening's pursuits), but amongst the weariness Burridge put in a performance as measured and mature as any other in recent memory. Once again the heat was unforgiving for the English Sunday leaguer but perhaps it was the temperature that forced them into playing a shorter passing game.

One must say that their start didn't suggest any of the above, as Waterlooville went into the lead within minutes, and it seemed that a long and fruitless afternoon was to ensue, especially as this was the side that had defeated Burridge in two closely encounted cup finals last season. But Burridge didn't allow the contest to slip from their grasp, and reward followed as Bryn Schwodler managed to cut the ball back across the six yard box. Whilst the Waterlooville back line admired his efforts, Lee Fielder drilled in the equalizer.

The game swung to and fro in the second half, but when collecting a through ball from Greg Baker, Bryn Schwodler skipped past two challenges on the edge of the area before keeping his left foot shot low to the keepers despairing left hand glove, despite wearing a pair of Nike football boots that were clearly not even fit for the Salvation Army shoe collection bin at Sainsburys (on later examination it was clear that the sole was free of much of the main vessel of his espadrilles).

Paul Andrews left the bench for the forward line and his enthusiasm earned him a spot of luck as a ricochet provided him a clear run on goal, but his finish rolled the wrong side of the upright. At the other end Waterlooville squandered several clear goal scoring chances, either failing to find their intended destination or simply denied by Dave Hopkins, who was enjoying a solid and agile performance in goal.

Despite this it seemed that Burridge would maintain their lead, but Hopkins was punished by the rarely enforced six second rule. (Whereupon a goalkeeper has the ball in his hands, he has six seconds to release it, if he fails to do so a free kick is awarded to the opposition). Although indirect, the ball was merely brushed and as Burridge attempted to charge the ball down, it had already found Hopkins bottom right hand corner via a low drive.

Disappointment soon vanished as Burridge realized that such a result against last season's treble winners in the absence of any pre-season was a credible start to a new season that dares to offer such tantalizing promise. Can Burridge continue in similar vein?

3-5-2: Dave Hopkins, Ross Bryant, Kev Willsher, Mark Sanderson, Scott Burnet, Paul Dyke, Rich Allan, Bryn Schwodler, Jay Schwodler, Kristian Hewitt (Greg Baker), Lee Fielder (Paul Andrews)
Scorers: Lee Fielder, Bryn Schwodler
Other Meon Valley One Results:
Wickham 1-5 AFC Paxton
Spinnaker 1-4 AFC Spotted Cow
Spotted Cow 4-3 Aquaseal

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Burridge 2 - 4 Spartans

Saturday 3rd September 2005

Burridge's enthusiasm for a new season slowly petered out in the late Summer heat. They did manage to enjoy periods of the game where their passing was neat and direct; often finding a willing receiver of the ball in Jay Schwodler on the right flank, as Burridge fed a succession of teasing balls behind the Spartan's left back.

As the game progressed these moments became more fleeting, but not before they'd taken the lead. Again from the right the ball was fed into Kristian Hewitt, who dummied beautifully, allowing Mark Sanderson to stroke home for the lead. From then on Spartans began to take control, they stretched Burridge's midfield with retained possession allowing their wingers the time necessary to pepper the penalty area that resulted in two quick goals inbetween a couple of good saves from Dave Hopkins.

Fitness clearly began to show in the second half, and Burridge were hit by two further quick fire goals, both counter attacks where the ball had been lost in an attacking situation. To their credit they continued to probe resulting in Ross Bryant drilling home from the edge of the box after another neat dummy from Hewitt, leaving the final score 4-2.

3-5-2: Dave Hopkins, Paul Andrews, Greg Baker, Paul Dyke, Jay Schwodler, Luke Sanderson, Rich Allan, Mark Sanderson, Ross Bryant, Dean Wall (Lee), Kristian Hewitt (Mike Hogg).
Scorers: Mark Sanderson, Ross Bryant

Other Senior One results:
Cadnam Utd 2 - 4 Capital
North Baddesley 1 - 0 Burridge Sports
Priory Rovers 1 - 0 Ordnance Survey Res 0 to see the latest results and tables.

Looking back (bringing back the blog)

I haven't posted here since 2012 – that’s five years of not blogging. The blog is/was about Burridge AFC, the football team I played f...