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)