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)