Sunday, 30 September 2007


Saturday 29th September

You’d be forgiven for missing the unmarked and narrow entrance to Burridge. The two hundred yards of potholed dirt track are more in keeping with the road surfaces one might find in some former Soviet outpost like Chechnya. Although on reflection, and later inspection of your vehicle’s alloys in the pea-shingle car-park that follows, this is perhaps a little unfair to the dedication of the Chechen highways agency. Such journey is fine for your Range-Rovers of this world, but not your graphite Audi TT, as Burridge penalty taker Greg Baker will surely testify to.

Reward for the struggle is the leafy green expanse of Burridge, which this afternoon had benefited from some light drizzle. A surface that would perhaps offer Burridge chance to stroke the ball around to feet. This was achieved only in spasms and Comrades could have been more than two up at the break. Burridge fought back as they’d done so in their previous two fixtures. Veteran Justin Newman, who’d not long been introduced as a substitute, pulled one back.

Burridge had now shrugged off the apathy that plagued them so during the first half. Now there was a stomach for contest. Centre-half Paul Dyke, no stranger to controversy, provided further drama. He’d already managed the defying feat of talking himself into the referee’s notebook even though a free-kick had been awarded in his favour. When heading in the back post he ran off and did what only teetotallers can - a somersault. Both sides had chances. Comrades took their’s. For the third week running Burridge were left to rue defensive mistakes and missed chances. Of course, it still remains anyone’s league, just as long as that anyone can string one or two wins together. This remains painfully elusive for Burridge at present.

Monday, 24 September 2007


Another game and once again Burridge found themselves on the wrong end of seven goals. Barrie Becheley has been their chairman for some eighteen years now, that proud moustache droops proudly over his lip like Joseph Stalin. How crestfallen he was - Becheley that is, not Stalin - to see his life's work in ruins. To think that architects were consulted and blueprints drawn up, but all in vain. Burridge's dug outs have collapsed. The place where substitutes think - hang it all! If I knew I'd be sitting here I would have got stuck into the hard stuff and pints be damned - is no more.

The kind of high winds unable to fully excite kites into life were simply no match for the superstructure made from concrete and straw, which is now just a pile of rubble. When Kristian Hewitt smashed home for one-nil, Pete Lyons' belief that Burridge could still bag this title didn't sound like piffle. It sounded feasible.

They've got the stomach for it. Pubs up and down the streets of Southampton and beyond will testify to that, but have they got the legs? Bishopstoke's forwards made them run and run and then run some more. Hewitt's second wasn't enough to prevent them going three-two down. Ben Hutton arrived at the back post making it all three each and it seemed a share of the spoils. With the clock ticking down Bishopstoke struck a fatal blow. There was little time to recover. Burridge have yet to win in their blue and black stripes yet this season.

S.Schwodler, P.Dyke, L.Sanderson, M.Sanderson, S.Froud (J.Newman), M.Reeves, K.Hewitt, G.Baker (B.Rowe), J.Hewitt, R.Kelly, B.Hutton

The following booking need to be paid for:

Greg Baker v Netley £8
Sam Schwodler v Netley & Hop £16
Paul Dyke v AP £8
Sam Hewitt v AP £8
Kristian Hewitt v AP £8

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Burridge 3-4 Durley

Only ten minutes gone. Burridge already a goal down. Their skipper Kristian Hewitt draws a hand across his bristled jowl. With the ball mercifully hoofed into a nearby farmer’s field there is rest bite. Time for lungs to suck in air as lactic acid burns, burns, burns. It’ll take Durley a good moment or so to get past those curious horses and make their way back through a thicket of brambles to restart the onslaught. Where younger fitter men want to expose his flank as he and his team mates chase shadows under a late summer sun.

That weary back has seen it all over ten years. First learning his craft at Compton. Then onto Albion and was it really six? Six whole years ago that Hewitt last pulled on that now long and sadly extinct green and white hooped jersey of AC Delco? Where good times and goals flowed freely. Before the drudgery of Ordnance Survey. Where atmosphere was jettisoned in favour of revenue. When management all but snuffed out his talents. The list of players on their books to scale of a telephone directory.

But despite Durley’s domination, Hewitt - now four years into the umpteenth incarnation of Burridge - leaves the field at half-time two-one up. Sam Schwodler equalising. Sam Hewitt hitting number two and the Durley keeper’s confidence. Who made a dog’s dinner out of his strike. Then the second half. The Durley fight back. Within a blink of an eye it’s three-two. Again Burridge find resolve. Luke Sanderson the grateful recipient of another goalkeeping spillage, smashing the leveller. But Burridge were dead on their feet, the ball a burden to their heavy legs. Durley a yard quicker across the field of play. Their winner came late. They go into the hat for the next round.

B.Stanfield, L.Sanderson, P.Dyke, M.Sanderson, R.Kelly, K.Hewitt (S.Froud), M.Reeves, S.Schwodler, G.Baker, B.Hutton (K.Willsher), S.Hewitt (J.Newman)

Monday, 10 September 2007

AP Sports 0-1 Burridge

St George 5th Playing Fields

Burridge won by a single goal against AP Sports. It was scored by none other than Sam Schwodler. The man who continues to defy the odds. The man who had a night to forget on his debut as a goalkeeper last season. Back on that rainy night the boy couldn’t catch a dose on a fortnight in Benidorm. What happened? He picked himself up, dusted himself off and grew into that goalkeeping jersey, ‘til that jersey became him.

These days he’s finding himself in an attacking midfield position. Once again there are scores to settle. If it’s not with the past - or more accurately - last week; when he fluffed his lines with the goal gaping. Then it’s with the opposition, who’d moments before he scored had kicked him up in the air. Left-back Luke Sanderson sent the ball up to Kristian Hewitt. He diverted the flight of the ball with a strong barrel chest into the path of Schwodler - who placed home beautifully.

Off he ran. Arms outstretched. Swearing furiously. Rather like Diego Maradona after scoring against Greece during the 1994 USA World Cup. Only difference being that Maradona later failed an ephedrine doping test. Something about the power drink - Rip Fuel. After running out of his Argentinian purchased stash his personal trainer scored him some U.S supply, which apparently was where the drug was traced. And there was me thinking it was cocaine.

Now I’m not suggesting Schwodler be tested. No, I put his spectacular finish down to the hours no doubt spent watching elder brother Jay playing football in the garden. Way back when. Pirouetting, juggling, sending the fear of God into green houses. Thinking to himself - look at that. There’s an example. One to avoid at all costs if I’m to succeed!

B.Stanfield, R.Kelly, M.Sanderson, P.Dyke, L.Sanderson, G.Baker, B.Hutton, M.Reeves, S.Schwodler, K.Hewitt (R.Jones), S.Hewitt (J.Hewitt)

Monday, 3 September 2007

AFC Hop 3-2 Burridge

Cutbush Lane

The referee’s stopwatch ticked its last. Eighty-nine minutes had been played with the scores two all. God knows how! Burridge could - no, make that should - have put this game to bed long ago. Sam Schwodler, who’d already received his second booking of the season, seemed to have made two-one, three. Had that been so, cigars would have been smoked, neat triangular passing met by cries of ‘Ole!’ Taunting the hapless opposition into chasing shadows like hungry dogs.

Alas, no. Out of nowhere a Hop defender, with the benefit of a double jointed hip, came good and clawed the ball away. Many chances had been squandered. Burridge were now forced to go all out for attack. Desperate for a winning goal. As for AFC Hop? Well, they kept at it. You had to give them that. They’d gone a goal down inside two minutes when Sam Hewitt bundled home Rob Kelly’s cross. Their scoring chances were few and far between. Only three more in number than Peter Crouch’s getting anywhere near Abby Clancy’s pants if he weren’t a professional footballer. But unlike Burridge, AFC Hop took their chances. All of them.

Hewitt’s goal was levelled by a header from a set piece before half-time. Luke Sanderson reclaimed Burridge’s lead in the second half when he volleyed in from inside the box from a corner. Once again AFC Hop scrambled a goal. Leaving us here. Deep in the eighty-ninth minute and Burridge trying to cook up a winner. Instead, Hop counter attacked, striking low and winning the game. The scorer screaming in delight into the face of left-back Sanderson. An unidentified Burridge player, clearly disappointed, drop kicked the ball into the AFC Hop scorer’s midriff. Halting his celebration, but starting a melee. An ugly end to a senseless game.

Ben Stanfield, Mark Sanderson, Jay Schwodler, Luke Sanderson, Rob Kelly, Ben Hutton, Justin Newman (Mark Reeves), Greg Baker, Ryan Jones (Matt Birks), Sam Hewitt, Sam Schwodler

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...