Saturday 1st March
Eastleigh Rugby Club
The look on Mark Reeves's face said it all. His pursed lips smiled thinly, but his cold blue eyes told another story. He looked up to the clouds, that were too few in number to spoil a cobalt blue sky. It's been, what? Three years now since he first pulled on a Burridge jersey, and in all that time not a single goal to his name. Not until today, at Bishopstoke Rec in the wind, and how it blew. Thing is Reevesy's no goal bodger, he's just been busy doing other stuff, the ugly stuff.
Wearing his fair hair closely cropped and always putting in a solid shift in the Burridge midfield, Reeves scrambles around the field of play, going balls deep into tackle after tackle in size eight Adidas World Cup football boots, and since battling his way back into a starting position after Christmas he's gone damn close to breaking his duck. Firstly, volleying against the crossbar against Inmar, then striking the base of the post from the edge of the penalty area against Hythe Aztecs. So you could say Mark Reeves was due a goal. Just not like this.
As an unwilling accomplice I feel partly responsible. Bishopstoke are younger and faster and they were counter attacking and I was playing at centre half. What with the wind blowing a gale, I'd decided in the warm up to stick to the safety routine I alluded to in an earlier post, by sending it long and sending it high at every opportunity. The ball that is. Although looking back on that previous sentence, I needn't have pointed out the wind, it would've made no difference to my routine. Defenders are there first and foremost to destroy, and that is what I was trying to do.
The questionable weight of - what I hazard a guess at being - a well worn Mitre Delta was played forward into our penalty area. With alarm bells ringing about my ears I strode forward, hoofing the ball with the laced instep of my right foot with all the power I could muster, hoping to find distance and reach safety. On re-entering orbit, I wanted my clearance to land on a railway track or into a field of disagreeable cows. Hell, I wanted it to land on the moon. I did neither. Instead, I drove it into Mark Reeves' taunt buttocks. The left cheek if I'm not mistaken.
With its new wind assisted trajectory in place, the ball sailed high backwards toward goal, and over the head of 'keeper Ben Stanfield into the net. 1-0. I've seen it all now, what were the chances of that? Thank-you, goodnight, why do I waste my time playing this stupid bloody game and is it going to be one of those days. Thankfully not. The second half highlights were mainly giving the referee a verbal what for. Burridge skipper Kristian Hewitt, as is customary these days, got a booking for his troubles, after a bit of afters, that frankly has been rumbling on from the last two games with 'Stoke.
It was left for Sam Hewitt to make amends for last week's early bath. From inside the penalty area he dropped the shoulder, gave a shimmy, and with space he'd bought struck low under the keeper's right hand. The rot has stopped, but Reevesy will want to put this one behind him.
4-4-2: Stanfield, L.Sanderson, M.Sanderson, K.Hewitt (C), Jones, Baker, Reeves, Dyke, S.Schwodler, B.Schwodler, S.Hewitt (Hutton)
Unused subs: J.Hewitt, Andrews.