Monday, 25 September 2006


Burridge went down to their first league defeat of the season against a buoyant Capital side. Perhaps yours truly should have known how the Saturday afternoon was going to pan out when inadvertently walking in on Capital’s manager in the process of evacuating his bowls – not a pretty sight and it got worse.

Burridge went into the game yet to concede a league goal, but if it wasn’t for their goalkeeper Sam Schwodler and his keen reflexes the loss could have been even more comprehensive. After going in at half-time two-nil down, Burridge began the second half at least suggesting that a come back could occur; but Capital’s third goal vaporised such hopes.

The only high point for Burridge came when Ben Hutton tried his luck from the sort of long range better suited to a nine-iron. Capital’s goalkeeper looked on with the wide eyed astonishment of someone catching sight of a U.F.O - not a football. The ball returned from orbit crashing against the cross bar, Bryn Schwodler did what all good forwards should and followed up to give Burridge consolation.

The post match analysis within the home dressing room produced words of frustration and disappointment, scattered around like the errant passes that preceded them on the field of play. Their punishment comes in the form of time; they must wait seven whole days until the next fixture and the opportunity to atone for this most unsatisfactory result, and perhaps hope to discover who the real Burridge team are: inconsistent pretenders or battle hardened challengers – at the moment the jury is still out.

4-3-3: S.Schwodler, L.Sanderson, K.Willsher, M.Birks, J.Schwodler, G.Baker (S.Froud), M.Reeves, B.Hutton, J.Hewitt (J.Newman), P.Andrews (L.Fielder), B.Schwodler Unused sub: M.Sanderson

Monday, 18 September 2006


Venue: Netley Country Park

Burridge recorded a comprehensive victory in Netley against Priory Rovers. Football is often said to be a simple game; unfortunately this concept is often betrayed through mistake and complication. Goalkeepers haven’t been allowed to handle back-passes since 1992, the rules were changed to stop yawn inducing passages of play less entertaining than tectonic plate movement. The back-pass is the banana skin of the modern game, if its objective is to provide goalkeeper with opportunity to launch the ball into the heavens to safety, then why don’t outfield players do so themselves thus eliminating the risk of humiliation.

The goalkeeper is a strange and unpredictable species, who hasn’t evolved sufficiently to deal with the ball with his feet. Take John Burridge, a goalkeeper for twenty-eight years for twenty clubs between 1968 and 1996. A man who when playing for Aston Villa in 1977, decided he wasn’t going to listen to Ron Saunders’ team-talk but walk onto the pitch on his hands to entertain the fans. A man who enthusiastically divulged his habit of watching Match of The Day in full goalkeeper kit and gloves – whilst in bed. A man clearly not far from being sectioned. These characters cannot be expected to deal with the back-pass; their genetic code passed down by the likes of Lev Yashin, Gordon Banks and Pat Jennings wants to pick up the ball.

The inconspicuous figure of John Hutton certainly won’t begrudge this weakness. The dreadlocked forward chased an errant back-pass and walked the ball into empty net. This was followed by a Jamie Hewitt special, he latched onto a clearance, pulled back his left foot and whiz-bang, it was two-nil. Burridge controlled the second half with Hewitt helping himself to a second; Greg Baker thumped home a penalty before Bryn Schwodler completed the rout.

4-3-3: Sam Schwodler, Jay Schwodler, Luke Sanderson, Mark Sanderson (Paul Dyke), Kev Willsher, Greg Baker, Mark Reeves (Nick Thomas), Steve Froud, John Hutton (Lee Fielder), Bryn Schwodler, Jamie Hewitt (Unused Subs: Paul Andrews, Matt Birks)

Monday, 11 September 2006


Saturday 9th September
Venue: Shepherds Lane, Compton

Burridge got their league campaign off to a winning start at Compton. In reference to the agreeable playing surface at Shepherds Lane, Burridge manager Pete Lyons had made it clear to his players that if they couldn't play passing football here, they may as well give up. Sentiments upheld by the late great Brian Clough, who often declared that if the ball was meant to be hoisted into orbit, God would have put grass in the sky - or words to that affect. Burridge heeded his advice, as ball and turf remained amiable companions for much of the game.
The ability to read and anticipate each other's play could well be underpinned by the strong family connections in a Burridge squad of nine brothers that includes: three Schwodlers, two Hewitts, a couple of Huttons and a pair of Sandersons.

But despite their attractive attacking intentions it was their goalkeeper Sam Schwodler who produced the defining moment of the first half. With Burridge caught out defensively, a Compton forward made his way through on goal unchallenged. With the net at his mercy he struck low seemingly unable to do anything but give Compton the lead, only for Schwodler to dart off his goal-line to narrow the angle before throwing himself at the ball, smothering it to safety.

Scoring opportunities continued to be presented at both ends of the field, with Bryn Schwodler at the end of many good attacking moves, but he was unable to convert any of these chances. With three minutes to go it appeared that the points would be shared between the sides; but Greg Baker's right-wing cross eluded the Compton goalkeeper, and as the ball sailed over his grasp Bryn Schwodler arrived to head into the inviting goal to claim victory.

4-4-2: S.Schwodler, J.Schwodler, P.Dyke, M.Sanderson (M.Reeves), L.Sanderson, G.Baker, M.Birks (J.Hutton) (P.Andrews), K.Hewitt, S.Froud, B.Schwodler, J.Hewitt


Sunday, 3 September 2006

Burridge AFC 1-6 Target

Saturday 2nd September
Veracity Ground

It was raining. It was windy. The referee may or may not have had a vendetta against Burridge. But, Paul Andrews banged home for the lead - then lots of bad things happened resulting in a good tonking. Please, lets us vow never again.

4-4-2: Kristian Hewitt, Jay Schwodler, Paul Dyke, Matt Birks, Luke Sanderson, Greg Baker, Steve Froud, Mark Sanderson, Bryn Schwodler, Paul Andrews, John Hutton

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...