Saturday 7th April
Burridge AFC 3-0 Priory
Burridge eased to victory with second half goals from Mark Sanderson and Sam Schwodler, but they had to wait 'til late in the first half before finding the breakthrough. Ben Hutton skipped through on goal only to be felled illegally by the oncoming goalkeeper, leaving the referee with little choice but to destroy the serene atmosphere with a shrill whistle, pointing a fully extended index finger to the stained white grass of the penalty spot. This act - as it always does - reminded me yet again of the words uttered by my PE teacher from the well worn comfort of his threadbare brown sofa of the staff room, "Nobody should miss a penalty," he said shaking his head with disdain. But they do.
Chris Waddle blazed his high into the Turin sky during England's penalty shoot out defeat in Italia '90, making me whole heatedly believe that he had lost his mojo, much like Samson, after setting clippers loose on British soccer's most infamous mullet, that even during the time was viewed with the suspicion of the sinister bouffant of a fairground gypsy working the dodgems. Waddle went onto become the darling of Olympique Marseilles with a lightly highlighted coiffeur.
Midfielder Greg Baker - who's yet to miss a penalty this season - stepped forward. By which point I couldn't see anything other than that old brown sofa sloped along the goal line, with sir sat upon it drawing heavily on a cigarette, baiting Baker and all penalty takers across the planet with thos words. The low strike with the instep of his right boot had sufficient purchase on it to evade the goalkeeper's clutches and roll into the net, banishing the old brown sofa to the confines of my mind. Until the next penalty of course.