Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Goal of 2009

Click on pic to super enlarge: Kristian Hewitt is replaced by Jay Schwodler at Jones Lane, Hythe, 2009

Kristian Hewitt's goal against Warsash Wasps at Osborne Road on 29th August has been voted 'Goal of 2009' by his team mates. Hewitt took a heavy swing at the ball from a distance of thirty yards away from Warsash's goal after nudging the ball ahead of him with the scuffed leather of his size nine Nike. The ball eventually settled in the net after deflecting off the underside of the steel crossbar.

Hewitt beat off competition from four other goals, which included Greg Baker's long range strike at Fleming Park against Inmar on 31st January 2009. Other goals in the running were: Ryan Jones' in the same game, that not only superseded Greg's, but got wedged into the top corner of the net; Bryn Schwodler's curling chip against champions Hythe & Dibden by the sea at Jones Lane on a sunny afternoon in September; Not to mention Marc Judd's flawless twenty-five yard volley, which he did so after being passed to from a corner kick, that may have won 'Goal of 2009' had it not been scored during an impromptu training session at Burridge on a Wednesday night. Although this didn't stop him being mobbed in the evening sun by fellow Burridge players no sooner had his strike nestled in the top corner.

Hewitt has scored equally spectacular goals for Burridge, including two collectors items against Netley in 2007. Newspapers have documented his goals for the club since he began playing for them as an eighteen year old in 1997:

South Hants Weekly News, Thursday 18th September 1997
Lynx Sports 4-3 Burridge

“...Chris (sic) Hewitt scored the goal of the game with a shot from 25 yards out..."

The Pink, Saturday March 22nd 2003
Burridge 5-0 Bishops Waltham

“Kristian Hewitt scored a goal of the season contender when he volleyed in Paul Andrews thirty yard pass to help Burridge into the Pink Cup Final."

Well done, Kristian. Or as he'll be known now due to the fact that he's the third eldest of four brothers, Hewitt III.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Sam Hewitt: Three years in and counting

Sam Hewitt made his debut for Burridge at Titchfield Rec in a 3-0 defeat to AFC Solent on 17th March 2007. The youngest of four brothers, he lives in West End and makes his living cutting the greens at East Horton Golf Club.

Pictured above: Sam Hewitt has a go at the splits.

The Norman Rodaway, Hedge-End 5:30pm to 6pm, Wednesday 30th March 2007

Sam Hewitt was still very much 17 when Burridge visited the Rodaway to play Hedge-End on the last Wednesday of March. When he arrived shortly after 5:30pm the opposition were already out on the pitch, dressed in matching tracksuits and performing a synchronised warm up. He recognised some of their faces from school. Two or three years older and jumping the dinner queue, thinking they were it. Sam walked past them toward the away team dressing room, hoping it was full of the reassuring sounds of Justin Newman making fun of Greg Baker or Paul Dyke going to great lengths to recreate last night's episode of Peep Show. Once he'd closed the door behind him all he could hear was a shower head leaking drops of water onto the tiled floor. Nobody else had arrived. Junctions seven and eight of the M27 had seen to that.

The five minutes spent sat waiting for company passed slowly. When players did start arriving they began fighting off their trousers and moaning about traffic. Sam stands at 5 foot 10 with a head of shaved mousey hair. Other than his black cleated Nike football boots he was dressed head to toe in Burridge's changed red Adidas kit. With the time was fast approaching six o'clock the referee came into the dressing room with a sharpened pencil tucked into his pulled up black sock.

“Time to get going, gentleman” he said, pointing to the face of his digital watch. Sam's elder brother Kristian stopped Sam following the referee out of the door.
“Whatya doing?” He asked Sam. “We can't start with eight men, they'll tear us to pieces.”
“But, the referee said.....”
“Never mind him,” snapped Kristian. “Did you see their eyes?” Sam clearly hadn't paid as much attention to Hedge End's players as his brother. “Pupils like bowling balls. All of them,” continued Kristian before looking away muttering. “They've been juicing. One dart in the rump is all it takes, that way there's no jack tracking.”

Two more Burridge players arrived and began tearing off their clothes. After silently mouthing out the number of players in the room, Pete Lyons bent down and picked up a red shirt from the pile of kit on the floor. He was 51 and nobody had any spare shin-pads. He'd have to anchor the midfield.


Burridge memories haven't always been so lucid for Sam. Nobody enjoys dialling for an ambulance. It brings with it a certain degree of responsibility. Is the person you're ringing on behalf of genuinely injured, or are they just hoping to while away an afternoon laid in the back of an ambulance, laughing at their hands with an oxygen mask strapped to their face? Sometimes it's hard to tell, but blood helps.

The sound that followed Sam Hewitt's collision with the goal post on a bright April afternoon against Team Solent, was the gratifying snap that comes after the jagged metal teeth of a nut cracker are squeezed together to cave in the stubborn shell of a walnut. The referee stopped play and Sam was laid out flat behind the goal by his team mates. The grass beneath him quickly drank back the colour from his skin. Burridge players gathered around him and bowed their heads as a mark of respect.

A Team Solent midfielder, who was packing a little extra weight beneath the sponsor of his red polyester shirt, began complaining about what he considered an unnecessary stoppage in play. He may as well have cut a prolonged yawn loose at a funeral. Sam's brothers, Kristian and Jamie, turned their heads in disgust from their front row pew. Their contempt was disturbed by the arrival of the ambulance that made its way to Sam slowly over the grass.

Laid out on the ground with his closely cropped hair, Sam had the look of an Action Man that had long since been abandoned for Donkey Kong. A face blocked his view of the clear blue sky. It belonged to the ambulance driver.

“Now hold steady there, son,” he said as he knelt down and rolled down Sam's sock, loosened his shin pad and ran his latex gloved hand up and down Sam's left shin bone. “How does that feel?” Asked the ambulance driver.

It felt pretty much how Sam imagined a stranger stroking his leg in a public place in front of his brothers would feel – pretty weird. Satisfied that there was no break, just heavy bruising, Sam's dad ferried him away in the back seats of his Ford Focus.


The Norman Rodaway, Hedge-End 6:17pm to 7:45pm Wednesday 30th March 2007

Fifteen minutes into the first half, Pete Lyons, stood hunched over in the centre circle with his hands resting on his hips. He caught a glimpse of Luke Sanderson closing the driver's door of his red Peugeot 306 behind him and making his way quickly towards the pitch.

“Giggsy,” he shouted. “Two minutes, get kitted up.”

Luke headed for the changing room as further residents from nearby Cranborne Park and Hobb Lane switched off their television sets and left their lounges behind to walk over to the Rodaway, where from a standing position behind a roped off touchline they watched Hedge-End transform promising scoring opportunities into goal kicks for Burridge goalkeeper Sam Schwodler to punt into the darkening sky.

Jamie Hewitt's mouth was open in concentration. The ball was at his feet 30 yards from goal and he looked like he wanted rid of it. Sam hoped to receive it, having spent most of the game waiting patiently for a pass, but as usual his brother had other ideas. They seemed no more complex than kicking it as far away as possible, which he did. Why isn't the selfish bastard giving it to me, thought Sam. The ball travelled towards Hedge-End's goalkeeper. He watched it until the white stringed net behind him brought to a stop. Once that'd registered with Jamie, he ran with his right arm held above his head. Sam chased after him and got a handful of his red collar before they were both covered beneath a landslide of red shirts.

Final score: Hedge-End 0-1 Burridge.

Burridge formation: 3-5-2: Sam Schwodler, Mark Sanderson, Paul Dyke, Jay Schwodler, Pete Lyons (Luke Sanderson), Steve Froud, Justin Newman, Greg Baker, Kristian Hewitt (Paul Andrews), Sam Hewitt, Jamie Hewitt

Injured unused sub: Ben Rowe
Unavailable through suspension: Bryn Schwodler
Booked: Mark Sanderson, Greg Baker, Jamie Hewitt.


Burridge's final training session of 2009

9:15pm Wednesday 23rd December 2009 at Wildern School

Picture taken by Sam Hewitt, back row, left to right: Ben Rowe, Jay Schwodler, Kristian Hewitt, Rich Allan,. Front Row, left to right: Greg Baker, Mark Sanderson, Bryn Schwodler

Next week: Goal of 2009 is revealed.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Burridge 2009 diary

Pictured above: Burridge at half time against Netley in March 2009. Click to enlarge. (Pic by Giggs-wiggs at Noono Boono)

Just a few dates for your diaries. Training will go ahead as normal on Wednesday 23rd December at Wildern Leisure Centre. Pete Lyons won't be there, so we'll get down to an hour of 5-a-side. They'll be no other activity until Wednesday 6th January, when we begin training again. The entire senior division fixtures were postponed on Saturday. At present, London Airways are top, winning all 6 of there league games. Netley Central have the same number of points, but they've played 10 games. In third are Hiltingbury, then it's Burridge, 3 points behind, but with 3 games in hand. While we're here, what was your Burridge goal of 2009?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Burridge 2-1 Nursling

Southampton Trophyman Cup
Meadowside, Whiteley

Meadowside Leisure Centre's toilets were an unnecessary extravagance to Burridge's centre half, Paul Dyke - who, choosing to ignore the sanctuary of an endless thicket of thorn hedge rows, with an unguarded matter of factness more normally associated with reaching for a handful of coins from a trouser pocket, pulled out his wang and relieved himself of a pint of orange juice onto the grass beside the pitch shortly before Burridge were due to kick off.

Five slow weeks had passed since Burridge's last game. Today they faced Nursling, who put seven goals past them on their way to winning last season's Trophyman Cup. Many of their most influential players have since left to join Queens Keep, but Burridge had their own problems. Goalkeeper Ryan Jones was ill with tonsillitis. Paul Andrews agreed to cover for him. Burridge manager Pete Lyons rewarded the favour by investing £14.99 of club funds in a new pair of goalkeeping gloves.

Paul put them to immediate use. When a Nursling silhouette moved towards him out of the low sunlight, Paul began frisking him with an open foam palm. Once satisfied that the contents of the intruder's shorts were of no obvious threat to his penalty area, he brought the search to an abrupt end, but not before confiscating the football from his feet.

During the first half Burridge visited Nursling's penalty area on fewer occasions than you'd imagine Ronaldinho honours orthodontic appointments. Despite this handicap they were still two goals up. Sam Schwodler had the presence of mind to follow in his brother's header, which reached him after bouncing back off the crossbar. Nursling's goalkeeper may still have been upset at the manner in which he'd been beaten when several minutes later, Kev Willsher, loaded a free kick high into Nursling's penalty area. In an enthusiasm born out of atonement he came rushing from his goal line to try and claim the ball from a penalty spot heaving with flailing bodies. All he achieved in doing so was to double Burridge's lead.

Kev sat next to Pete Lyons in the home dressing room after the game. He was working a towel through his wet black hair. A Biro rested between Pete's fingers. The dead end of it was pursed to his lips like an imaginary cigarette and he stared into the match card as if looking for clues. It wasn't clear who got the final touch to Kev's free kick before it crossed the goal line. Kev reminded Pete that it was goal bound, and with nobody else coming forward to claim it as their own, Pete ticked the little score box next to Kev's name in blue ink . “I just asked him and he changed it,” said Kev, perhaps now feeling the effects of the previous night spent in the pub before turning his full attention to a pint of Coca-Cola.

Nursling scored a goal of their own in the second half and spent the rest of the game chasing hard for a second. As they prepared to take a corner kick the referee said that there were 5 seconds of the game left. Nursling's goalkeeper had joined nine team mates in Burridge's penalty area. Nobody wanted to mark him, there was no dignity in it. When the ball arrived it was pounced on by a tangle of legs, arcing it above Paul Andrews' head towards his top left hand corner. Taking a step backwards he managed to pat the ball a Mar bar's width over the crossbar with his fingers. The sound directly after the referee's final whistle was of Paul shouting the word yes several times over. Later that night he stretched his tall frame out on the sofa with his girlfriend Kate. A large brandy didn't do any harm in helping him to enjoy the X-Factor.

Burridge line up

GK:Paul Andrews
RB:Sam Hewitt
CB:Kev Willsher
CB:Paul Dyke
LB:Mark Emerson Sanderson
RM:Kristian Hewitt (Jay Schwodler)
CM:Mark Reeves
CM:Justin Newman
LM:Sam Schwodler (Greg Baker)
CF:Rich Allan (Ben Rowe)
CF:Bryn Schwodler

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Kristian Hewitt's Park Scratchings

Kristian Hewitt (number 4 in yellow) during a 3-0 defeat against Burridge Sports in September '05.

Kristian agreed that it would only take a single blow to the head with a shovel, or even a house brick, to kill the seagull. He brought the John Deere Gator to a halt on the driving range when his passenger, Luke Sanderson, noticed something slowly circling the grass in a nearby ditch over the road from the landfill site. On closer inspection they saw it was a seagull. It had a dark crimson hole where its wing used to be. Kristian looked over his shoulder at the shovel's squared off steel head laid out in the trailer and winced at the thought of bringing it down over his head with the force necessary to soak the grass beneath it a violent shade of red. With neither having the stomach for it they drove away up the fairway.

The cleaners have long since given up on the toilets in the mess room, so any green keeper at East Horton Golf Course struggling to contain the contents of his gut would do well to seek comfort of the white seated toilets of the clubhouse. During the winter months it gets too cold for Kristian to take off his quilted body warmer in the mess room, which after a few hours spent cutting greens is where he'd go for a tea break around about 9am. You'd normally find him sat on a plastic backed chair flicking through the pages of Nuts. Pictures of women are stuck to the painted white brick walls by rolled up balls of Blu-Tack. Some of them are so focused on getting your attention that they've forgotten to put on clothes.

Four years ago he turned towards the back of the Echo looking for the Park Scratchings feature on the Burridge derby game. Scanning the report with an index finger he found the familiar arrangement of letters that made up his name. “Match highlight,” he said, reading it out like a question. “Kristian Hewitt's 25-yarder, which left his right foot like a missile and was only stopped from finding the top corner by the goalkeeper's outstretched hand.” Older brother and head green keeper, Marcus, wasn't so easily impressed. Missiles didn't get saved by fat blokes who only play in goal because they can't run around. Kristian returned to the newspaper. He was man of the match in a 3-2 win over Burridge Sports. It said so on the pages in front of him and he enjoyed the satisfaction that it brought him, even though that he knew the credibility of being named so would always be called into question if the newspaper were prepared to report in the same feature that Paul Dyke was the club jester and Jay Schwodler was Burridge's best man marker.

This winter's weather's as wet as Kristian has known it in ten years spent cutting greens. There's much more chance of a stick in right now. You'll be out on the fourteenth on the rough cutter and suddenly your wheels will start sinking into the earth. Hitting the gas pedal will just drive your wheels deeper into the mud, so you have to get out and walk for help. Sometimes for fifteen minutes. You'll probably need the Bobcat to pull you out with a tethered chain. The question is how come Kristian hasn't had any stick ins himself this season? Like some wily old sailor he said, “I know all the bad spots.”

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Who is Lee Fielder?

With Burridge's third consecutive match being called off because of a waterlogged pitch, we turn our attention instead to Burridge striker, Lee Fielder.

(Pic by Roz H) Lee Fielder takes warming up seriously.

Redbridge's manager, allowing himself a moment to think out loud over the nearby traffic of the A27, gave his assessment of the Burridge side: “This lot are fucking shit.”
Standing fifteen yards further up the touchline, injured Burridge striker Lee Fielder, put that observation into perspective by reminding Redbridge's manager that Burridge were winning the game.
“You what, mate?” He replied, dropping his linesman's flag onto the mud and turning his back on the game. "I'll knock you out in a minute, you prick."
“Get on with it,” Lee told him, as his right hand tightened into a fist around the plastic grip of his umbrella. “You're supposed to be running the line."
“I don't give a fuck,” replied Redbridge's manager. If half his team had started to lose interest in the game because they'd sooner look for someone to pick a fight with, why should he be any different?

That was in March, back when Lee still wasn't fit to play. He keeps himself busy by fighting his way into T-shirts from the children's department. If ever anybody starts taking pictures of a Burridge game whilst he's on the bench he'll start doing a few stretching exercises somewhere in shot of the camera. You'll never get to audition for the Davidoff commercial by missing a chance to look deep with your shirt tied around your waist. Not that Lee relies solely on football to express himself.

It's summer of 2006 and he's stood under the shade of a tree, watching Kristian Hewitt play tennis against Bryn Schwodler on an uneven clay surface in Fuerteventura. Each one of their strokes explores a new part of the baseline. Kristian offers his racket to Lee. After five minutes or so another of his forehands gets stopped by the net. Instead of retrieving the ball, he swats an imaginary pest away from his face with a heavy swing of his racket, then drops it on the floor and walks off the court, each step hitting the ground a little bit harder than the last. You got the impression it was only a matter of time until his hotel door got slammed off its hinges.

Most attempts to play consecutive games during the last five years have been interrupted by two things; firstly, a frown squashes his forehead together like a concertina playing a sad song out of tune, then he gets substituted holding his bandaged knee. He'd arrived for this year's pre-season training on the shores of the Solent dressed in black lycra. He looked like some evil gay superman, setting the pace in the sprint time trials. Then weeks later during a relay race something in his body clocked off for the day and he began to frown again. As he walked off the field everyone took a moment to spare a thought for the door of his car.

Nobody knows exactly what's wrong with Lee's knees. It might just be the wear and tear of twenty years spent playing football, but you can't help feeling that anyone who thinks that they're breaking news by saying that drinking the odd glass of milk is good for your bones, two months after breaking their leg, has nothing to lose getting a second opinion from a specialist.

Lee made an appearance from the substitutes bench during last season's mid-weeker with Northend. Burridge's one-nil defeat made Northend's chances of promotion to the premiership almost certain. Their manager was at ease with being no oil painting, and he didn't carry himself like one either. Maybe once in a while he'd do well to keep his trolley away from the dessert aisle, but still, he wasn't used to being called a big fat fuck. Not from such close quarters. Each word hit him with the smell of spearmint chewing gum.

Pretty much everyone had showered and gone home when he walked into Burridge's changing room to return the match card to Pete Lyons. “Well played," he said, as Pete swept up the empty Lucozade bottles and screwed up strips of electrical tape, that got stuck in the bristles of the broom's moustache as it made its way across the green carpet floor. “That number eight of yours,” he said, searching for the right word as he worked his tongue around the inside of his cheek. “He's a pretty fiery character, isn't he?” When he said character he meant wanker.
“What, Lee?” Laughed Pete. “Yeah, he's committed.”

Monday, 23 November 2009

Paper trail

Been checking this week's weather forecast. A fifth opinion didn't tell me anything the other four hadn't already. Heavy rain all week. So I telephoned the borough council first thing this morning about booking a football pitch. One that you can walk to from our's. One that can handle a bit of rain.

It's pretty straightforward. Just need to dig out the club's public liability insurance certificate, then submit it, along with some paperwork about our particulars, to the civic offices in Fareham. Once that's done, and only when that's done, we can play on Burridge recreation ground. So, there's no political reason why we can't play there. No conspiracy either, but you do have to fill out forms. The council say the league will have our insurance details. I'll make a call to Rod the result this evening. See if he has.

That way we don't have to play home matches at out of the way places like Titchfield Rec every time we get some weather. Where after about an hour someone from the other side notices that the set of goalposts at the top of the slope are about a foot lower than the ones at the other end.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Washed out

(Pic by Roz H)

When the rain falls in Burridge on a Friday night players know there's no harm in getting an eighth pint in. Rainwater covers the pitch in puddles that a responsible adult wouldn't leave small children or Shaun Wright-Phillips to play in unsupervised. During Wednesday night's training session at Wildern school's outdoor pitch, Pete Lyons, briefed the team.

“We're playing at home on Saturday lads,” said Pete, as the squad began limbering up to do some stretching exercises.

“So we're not playing then,” replied Justin Newman, having seen this week's weather forecast and remembering that a single downpour pretty much ended a training session there a few years ago. That was in August.

The pitch is only a few hundred yards away from a wide stretch of the River Hamble. Living and growing up so near to the coast, one often feels the calling to a life at sea, much like I once did. A friend and I left our worldly possessions behind, and with only what we had in our pockets: a packet of cigarettes, some lose change and a box of matches, we left for the water. Two hours later and we were back on dry land when the coastguard towed our pedalo ashore on his air boat, after strong tides and cramp prevented us from travelling further upstream to our destination of the Jolly Sailor in Lowford.

If Burridge want to play a home game between the months of November and January then their pitch needs to be irrigated, but that's expensive business. The club would need a grant. Burridge have already had a grant, or at least the kid's team have. Their application for drainage to their playing field was approved by the Football Foundation, who donated the club £20k to get to work on their pitch. Although we share the same name the two clubs have no affiliation and as of August this year their youth side have become a feeder club for Sporting Bishops Waltham.

Wednesday night's training session finished with an eight-a-side match with the twist being that players were allowed no more than two consecutive touches of the ball. This exercise was designed to improve ball control and awareness. Once the game got under way several things quickly became clear; firstly, both teams demonstrated a level of consistency that has seldom been witnessed under Pete Lyons' tenure, and secondly, the ball spent a significant amount of time on the wrong side of the twenty foot high mesh perimeter fence. Burridge centre forward, Ben Rowe, was one of the first to pick up on this. “You've got more time on the ball than you think,” he shouted to his team-mates, suggesting they relax a little which would enable them to be more composed next time they were in possession. His next contribution was to lose the ball in the branches of a reasonably nearby oak tree.

This week's Burridge feature in the Times is on Paul Dyke, which you can read by clicking here.

If rain falls on Burridge between Friday night and Saturday morning expect another game to be postponed.

Nothing yet.....

Monday, 9 November 2009

Netley Central 2-2 Burridge

Saturday 7th November
Station Road, Netley

(All pics by Roz H) Click on pic to enlarge. Jay Schwodler (red) maintains his concentration despite sharing his team's opinion that man in pink shirt (fourth from left) is in no position to give out stick.

Rich Allan wanted to know exactly what he'd done wrong. The referee said he'd no choice but to book him, without ever fully explaining why. Netley's centre half was far more forthcoming with an explanation. When the the ball squirmed loose from Netley's defence, Rich Allan was first to it, sending Netley's centre-half through the air like grit in a slingshot. “Fucking leg breaker, that was,” screamed the centre-half, seemingly unaware of the irony in the speed he got to his feet to stick his forehead into Rich's. Then some man in grey sweat pants, who looked like Rocky if he abandoned his training routine to go full time couch potato, decided he wanted to stick his face in Rich's too. Burridge retreated on a pitch where tufts of grass grew from the earthy soil like a moustache on the top lip of a teenage school boy.

Paul Dyke had bought his kit, but he wasn't fit to play. Nor was Marc Judd, but he had drugs. A handful of yellow capsules sat in the palm of his hand in the dressing room, before he chased them back like a shot of sambuca. “I'm going to get bollocksed on these tonight,” he smirked to himself. They looked like they'd been taken from a Kinder-Egg, rather than his friend's prescription for Chron's disease.

There hadn't been enough time for players to feel warm sweat trickle down their necks when Netley took the lead. Rich Allan took Bryn's flick on in his stride to equalise, but Netley found a way through to score an identical second goal some way before half-time. Burridge captain, Kristian Hewitt, didn't make it that far. The dull pain in his back caused a grimace that stretched tightly across his bearded jowls. He trudged off the pitch towards his pregnant wife, who was wrapped up in a woolly hat, and was replaced by Jay Schwodler.

Ben Hutton had almost dislodged the goalposts from their moorings from a free kick during the second half, but the score remained 2-1 with fifteen minutes left to play. Tempers were starting to run thin. Not least Paul Dyke's. He was running the line. When the referee blew up against Justin Newman, Dyke snapped; asking what fucking difference there was from an unpunished challenge by Netley seconds earlier. He put strong emphasis in the word, 'fucking.'

Up to this stage, Jay's most memorable contribution to the game was a tackle so mistimed it was a bit like coming in with Brian May's guitar solo when Freddie Mercury's still going on in a hushed voice about putting a gun against somebody's head and pulling a trigger 'til he's dead. Then Justin Newman swung a corner kick within tantalising grasp of Netley's goalkeeper, who at times looked incapable of catching the ball. He hesitated. Jay Schwodler didn't, using his head to score.

Click on pic to enlarge. Jay Schwodler (in front of blue number two) heads in his goal.

Burridge played in a 3-4-3 formation:

GK: Ryan Jones
DF: Ben Hutton (Marc Judd)
DF: Sam Hewitt
DF: Kev Willsher
LM: Mark Emerson Sanderson
CM: Justin Newman
CM: Mark Reeves
RM: Kristian Hewitt (Jay Schwodler)
CF: Sam Schwodler
CF: Rich Allan
CF: Bryn Schwodler

Other results:

AFC Hilyingbury 7-1 Michelmersh
AFC Redbridge 4-1 Durley
Hythe Aztecs 4-2 Wellow
Sholing Sports 3 BTC Southampton

Next week: home to London Airways

Monday, 2 November 2009

Burridge 3-1 Hythe & Dibden

Date: Saturday 31st October
Venue: Botley Road, Burridge

Click the pic to enlarge the current league table.

The man with no hair or front teeth told Sam Schwodler to shut his mouth. As far as he was concerned Sam was nothing but a big nosed prick for calling Hythe's linesman a cheat. He continued muttering something about straightening Schwodler out as he jogged into Burridge's half looking for a second equalising goal. Seeing as the judicial system have been mostly unsuccessful in ironing out every lively kink in Schwodler's personality, it may have been in the tax payer's interest for Hythe's number ten to share his strategy. Instead, he pushed one nostril shut with an index finger, propelling twin jets of air down through the other, sufficient to inflate a rubber dinghy, instantly evicting all manner of unwanted debris, along with any rent paying tenants, onto the grass beneath him in a trail of wet mess. The volume of which justified cordoning off.

(Pic by Roz H) Kristian Hewitt's view of his free kick as it gets groped by Hythe goalkeeper.

Burridge's first half lead from Justin Newman's neat finish had been cancelled out by a headed Hythe equaliser. Burridge's second goal came with compliments from Hythe's goalkeeper. Kristian Hewitt's intentions made quite clear when he began berated himself for over hitting a free-kick from forty yards out on the right-wing. Whilst Hythe's goalkeeper's peaked cap was able to improve his view into the low sun, it was inadequate in stopping him from letting the ball squirm through his grasp into the net. Disappointment prevented him from turning around to survey the scene of the crime, but behind him a row of semi-naked oak cast judgement upon him by pointing all number of gnarled wooden tentacles towards him accusingly.

(Pic by Roz H) Ben Hutton congratulates Hewitt is on his long range goal.

Sam Schwodler remained an effective outlet for Burridge, playing like a particularly nasty form of tropical disease, infecting opponents with little prior warning in a pandemic that quickly spread throughout Hythe's back four, leaving them in a delirious sweat. When Ben Rowe charged down the inside right channel to wallop in Burridge's third there was no time for Hythe to stop Burridge going top of the division.

Juddy makes sure that Justin Newman is dead after finding out it was him who broke into his car.

Burridge lined up in a 3-4-3 formation:

GK: Ryan Jones
DF: Kev Willsher
DF: Sam Hewitt
DF: Paul Dyke (Ben Hutton)
RM: Kristian Hewitt
CM: Justin Newman (Mark Reeves)
CM: Rich Allan (Jay Schwodler)
LM: Mark Emerson Sanderson
CF: Bryn Schwodler
CF: Ben Rowe
CF: Sam Schwodler

Burridge scorers:

1-0 Justin Newman
2-1 Kristian Hewitt
3-1 Ben Rowe

Pictured above: Burridge later on in the evening at Marc Judd's thirtieth birthday: Back row: left to right: Jay Schwodler, Pete Lyons, Ben Hutton, Sam Hewitt, Luke Sanderson, Paul Dyke, Ben Rowe, Kev Willsher, Justin Newman, Kristian Hewitt. Front row: left to right: Ryan Jones, Marc Judd, Sam Schwodler, Rich Allan, Mark Sanderson, Bryn Schwodler.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Preview: Hythe & Dibden

(Pic: Roz H) Is Kev Willsher kicking the ball or has the ball sent him flying backwards like a cartoon baddie, into what one hopes will be a large pile of cardboard boxes?

Examining Willsher

Kev Willsher didn't want to listen to what Spandau Ballet were telling him. Not now. If he really was gold or indestructible, whatever that meant, why was he having to lay dead still in a cramped tube, in order for men in white coats to look inside his head? The answer wasn't in their music, that came piped through an enormous pair of headphones. They made Kev look like Princess Leia's open coffin funeral. Further evidence, if necessary, that Spandau's upbeat lyrics, although worthy sentiments, were slightly out of context with the circumstances Kev was faced with, but still he wished he could turn them up louder. Anything to silence the incessant pneumatic pounding of this MRI scan. A procedure that wastes no time in telling the patient that it's safe and painless, but neglecting to divulge the mental anguish it may cause. A procedure that was also unable to pinpoint just what had stopped Kev from playing football for pretty much two years.

Tapping Willsher

When Kev walked off the pitch at the final whistle on a warm April afternoon, Hythe were already celebrating. Beating Burridge 4-1 had clinched the divisional title. Kev didn't stop to join them. His shirt was slung over his shoulder, wet through the previous ninety minutes' efforts. Hythe's manager was still watching him. He saw in Kev a defender without pretensions to make the ball do pretty things, when he could be heading it several miles. He latched onto Kev before he'd even left the centre circle. Kev's detached politeness suggested embarrassment that Hythe hadn't the decency to make an arranged approach for him in the manner accustomed. Perhaps at an underwhleming cafeteria of a motorway service station or over a mid-week call to his land-line would be more discreet, as opposed to asking him to sign for Hythe right under the noses of his team mates. It was one prize that Hythe lost out on that day. Kev had already won his.

Previous games between Hythe & Dibden and Burridge:

Lost 1-3 (12th Sept '09) scorer: Bryn Schwodler
Lost 1-4 (18th Apr '09) Ben Rowe
Lost 0-1 (1st Nov '08)
Won 1-0 (2nd Feb '08) Bryn Schwodler
Won 4-1 (10th Nov '07) Jamie Hewitt, Sam Hewitt, Justin Newman, Sam Schwodler

Hythe & Dibden's last three results:

Michelmersh 0-3 Hythe & Dibden
Hythe & Dibden 2-1 AFC Hiltingbury
Sholing Sports 0-4 Hythe & Dibden

Monday, 26 October 2009

Burridge 4-0 Michelmersh Stiffs

Date: Saturday 24th October
Venue: Botley Road, Burridge
Competition: Southampton league senior division one

(All pics by Roz H) Above: Paul Andrews soaks then blinds goalkeeper.

Paul Andrews ran through on goal like a man falling down the stairs with a tray full of drinks. Michelmersh's goalkeeper appeared to make the sign of the cross, although he could have just been shielding himself from the beam of sunlight reflecting off the highly polished instep of Andrews' giant Adidas football boots. With that, Andrews swept away the last trail of Michelmersh's gossamer like confidence with a swing of his right boot. His reaction to seeing the ball in the net was one of shock, maybe even surprise. Then realising he'd made it four-nil, instinct kicked in and he skipped away with his arms in the air. The game was over.

Justin Newman had given Burridge the lead in first half, but that had done little to stop Michelmersh's manager – the man in the amber trim tracksuit top – from successfully illustrating the benefits of being temporarily deaf. Friday's pre-match profile post identified amber-trim-tracksuit-man as Michelmersh's biggest threat to fans of peace and quiet, and as such, Burridge's Paul Dyke was unable to offer any significant challenge to him in terms of noise. It's feasible that Dyke was too busy coming to terms with his left foot, that until today had been thought of very little use for football.

Above: Justin Newman (number nine) scores penalty, or that's what this picture's telling me.

It had surely escaped amber-trim-tracksuit-man's mind that what came out of his mouth was supposed to rouse his team, instead of having the motivational prowess of a promise of a night out with those two weird blokes from X-factor, but still he went on shouting. So during the second half when the timid referee found it within himself to put his whistle to his mouth and blow for a Burridge penalty, for a tackle on Sam Schwodler that was both unnecessary and some distance away from the ball, he looked like he was about to blow his top. “You don't fucking listen,” he started shouting at his team, who at this volume had very little choice in the matter unless they all did a double Van Gogh.

Amber-trim-tracksuit-man was still at it as Justin Newman put the ball on the penalty spot. Seeing as he and his colleagues had packed up defending about twenty minutes earlier, a Michelmersh defender decided to try out a spot of reverse psychology on Justin Newman, telling him not to miss. “I won't,” he replied. He never has. Until now. “You missed,” said the defender as the ball disappeared into undergrowth behind the goal, along with any chance of Justin taking another penalty for Burridge. Justin Newman was, however, largely responsible for Burridge's second goal about thirty seconds later. Bryn Schwodler was the benefactor of his frantic scurrying not usually in keeping with a man of 37. Bryn Schwodler scored a third soon after, before Paul Andrews finished it off.

Above: Jay Schwodler and his opponent struggle to take off in strong head winds.

Click here to see this week's Times Online player profile of Greg Baker. Next week - Paul Dyke.

Burridge lined up in a 4-4-2 formation:

GK: Ryan Jones
RB: Sammy Hewitt
CB: Kev Willsher
CB: Ben Hutton
LB: Paul Dyke
RM: Jay Schwodler (Rich Allan)
LM: Mark Emerson Sanderson
CM: Kristian Hewitt
CM: Justin Newman (Mark Reeves)
CF: Sam Schwodler (Paul Andrews)
CF: Bryn Schwodler

Burridge scorers:

1-0 Justin Newman
2-0 Bryn Schwodler
3-0 Bryn Schwodler
4-0 Paul Andrews

Other results:

Durley Stiffs 1-1 Warsash Wasps
Netley Central Sports 1-1 AFC Hiltingbury
Wellow 0-1 Hythe Aztecs

Next game: Home to Hythe & Dibden

International Burridge news:

Day one of Greg Baker and Lee Fielder's 'totally not weird two man' Carribean cruise, and Lee Fielder is in bed with sea sickness. Greg is mopping his brow with a damp flannel. 14 more days to go.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Preview: Michelmersh Stiffs

Ben Hutton and Bryn Schwodler prepare free-kick during rare six goal feast at Michelmersh in October '08.

What gives?

Burridge look forward to welcoming Michelmersh and Timsbury stiffs and their gaffer, the bloke with the folded arms in that black tracksuit with the amber trim. Let's call him amber trim tracksuit man, who gives his bunch very loud encouragement. His gob will be competing for listeners with Paul Dyke's tannoy-esque announcements from the Burridge back four. The likelihood is that they'll cancel each other out. Amber trim tracksuit man is slightly hindered by his inability to offer a balanced view on the game, while some in the Burridge squad seem to be suffering from mild cases of Dyke-fatigue, whereupon over exposure causes the sufferer deaf ears to Dyke's grave defensive warnings.

Bad moon rising

February 2008. Ten minutes left. Burridge two goals up. Only now, eighteen months on, do I seem to recall the referee lurking on the wing in the vicinity of Kristian Hewitt, like some shifty Mark Chapman type. Then, unannounced he pulled out his weapon, in this case a red card, showing it twice in quick succession to Hewitt and his younger brother Sam. Result being that Burridge were too busy arguing the toss with the referee to notice Michelmersh scoring three quick winning goals.

Previous games between the sides

Won 5-0 (26th September '09)
Won 4-0 (4th April '09)
Won 6-1 (11th October '08)
Lost 2-3 (23rd February '08) click here for a match report.
Drew 1-1 (17th November '07)
Won 4-0 (24th January '04)
Won 3-0 (25th October '03)

Michelmersh Stiffs' last three results

Michelmersh 1-1 Durley Stiffs
Michelmersh 0-3 Hythe Dibden Sneaky Stiffs who aren't stiffs.
BTC Stiffs 2-1 Michelmersh Stiffs


Sir David Frost lives somewhere around Michelmersh. Will this be the Saturday he decides to watch his alleged local side? Probably not.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Burridge 0-5 Queens Keep

Date: Saturday 17th October
Venue: Botley Road, Burridge
Competition: Southampton senior cup – round two

(Pic by Roz H)

With less than ten minutes remaining the referee decided to liven up proceedings with a quick blast of yellow cards in Burridge's direction. All of which were inevitably debated by Burridge, if only to show that despite being five goals down they hadn't given up. Queens Keep on the other hand were quite adamant that they weren't going to sink to Burridge's level, which was described by their right-winger as shit. This went some way in revealing that their reasons for doing so weren't based on anything to do with dignity.

Either way, Burridge had been excused. Their petulance was only to be expected, because this game was their cup final, or so said another Queens Keep protagonist. Saying so in the direction of the forty or so spectators who'd travelled from the other end of the M27 to watch his team, as if that was somehow representative of the gulf in class between the two sides. He would've no doubt later admired Burridge's post match restraint in not requesting his autograph. Despite this rather inflated opinion of his own team, there was an essence of truth to what he was saying. Queens Keep currently occupy first place in the Hampshire Premier league, while Burridge operate in the lowest tier eligible to compete in the Southampton senior cup. Meaning that the possibility of Burridge having to concern themselves with trying to fill the thirty-one thousand seats in the final at St Mary's, or indeed turning over today's opponents was, without being too defeatist, fairly non-existent.

Paul Dyke's yellow card merits a special mention. The referee pulled him up for not retreating in his defensive wall position to the desired distance of ten yards quickly enough, prompting him to tell Dyke that he was 'now just taking the piss.' This choice language raised as many eyebrows as it did laughs. I for one was grateful that this particular one chose to ignore my mistimed tackle, that accidentally resulted in my studs landing firmly in the warm snook of my opponent's testicles. Other than an isolated cry of 'dirty cunt' from the sideline, I escaped further punishment. I can only conclude that the referee had mitigated his desire to once again reach for his top pocket. Or just couldn't be arsed to fill in more paperwork that night and miss X-Factor. Queens Keep move a step closer in a competition they aim to win, while Burridge face M&T reserves at home this Saturday.

How Burridge lined up

GK:Ryan Jones
LB:Paul Dyke
CB:Marc Judd
CB:Kev Willsher
RB:Sammy Hewitt
RM:Justin Newman (Jay Schwodler)
CM:Mark Reeves
CM:Bryn Schwodler
LM:Mark Sanderson
CF:Rich Allan (Sam Schwodler)
CF:Ben Rowe (Lee Fielder)

This week's picture profile is Greg Baker, but the Times have yet to post it online, so it looks like he'll be next week's picture profile now.

Google have picked up on the fact that Burridge have a penalty taking whizz amongst their ranks. Google search, 'the Englishman who doesn't miss penalties' to see what the first result is.

Week after next week's player profile will be Paul Dyke.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Sunday Morning

Help me I feel so bad. That's what the text message from Rich Allan said, as I pulled into the Texaco garage on the Maypole roundabout at around nine on a Sunday morning. My Lucozade stop was delayed by some vagrant who was aimlessly wandering the forecourt. Being locked firmly in docile Sunday morning mode I was in no mood for lairiness, but I couldn't resist another peek.

My first reaction was that Worzel Gummidge had really let himself go. Then I realised that the man in the black tracksuit stood in front of the bonnet of my car was Rich Allan himself. Burridge hadn't played on Saturday. Something about the other team not being able to get enough players together. Rich had filled the void with an enthusiastic visit to the pub. His previous night's whereabouts still evident by an ink stamp on his right hand that brandished the name Mono. His misery was now compounded by the ninety minutes that awaited him playing football for the Dolphin.

Rich and I are alone at Burridge in enjoying a game of football on a Sunday, although the ten in the morning kick-offs do have a habit of stretching that desire to breaking point at times. This morning we were due to share communal playing fields, but not the same team. He'd put his faith in recovery in a bottle of water. We both knew it was hopeless.

Click here for the Paul Andrews player profile.

Next week: Greg Baker.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Burridge 1-3 Northend

Date: Saturday 3rd October
Venue: Botley Road, Burridge
Competition: Hampshire Cup

Previous meeting: 0-1 win for Northend during a mid-weeker. They had a decent winger who'd give Lee Fielder a run for his money hogging the mirror. He's not playing today.

Kristian Hewitt aggravated his buttocks with a chainsaw. The accident happened last week while cutting down trees at
East Horton Gold Club, where he has spent the last ten of his thirty years keeping greens. The trees were mostly birch and holly. Again and again Hewitt guided the blade through their scaly trunks, whose final contribution was to provide suitable enough resistance to both Hewitt's lower back and buttocks to stop him captaining Burridge in Saturday's Hampshire cup tie with Northend. They take their name from the surname of a man called Barry from Middlesbrough, who used to run the Pensioner's Arms on Carlton Place, before it managed to become an even less appealing place for a pint. He doesn't run that pub any more, nor does he have any affiliation with this team, but still the name remains the same.

During the first half Northend's number six demonstrates an unflinching obedience to the negative stereotype of a closely shaven head by offering his open hand into Justin Newman's face too many times to be considered a coincidence. His total lack of self awareness was exposed when Justin Newman decided to return the favour during a corner kick. The reaction towards Justin Newman is incredulity filtered through poor use of grammar. The referee chose not to pull him up on this, which is a missed opportunity, but he had his hands tied trying to police the laws of the game, large chunks of which were filled with the noise of earnest shouting, that outside the context of a football match are similar in tone to Ian Beale if he'd caught you with your hand in the 'til.

Burridge had played well, but found themselves losing one-nil. Ryan Jones saves a penalty just before half-time and suddenly it becomes clear that Ben Rowe has plainly sexed up his look. Rather than relying on anything as extravagant as gym membership, he's clipped the dark hair a grade shorter, lost a pound or two, and allowed the whiskers on his sallow cheeks to grow the same length as his hair. Later, in the bar, he gains my attention with his 'I've got moody Yves Saint Lauren gear in the boot of my motor' eyes. They glimmer with the possibility that a simple nod of my head will set the motion in place for him to make the pre-arranged kill of my Swiss business partner. His Kent accent only authenticates this fantasy.

During the second half Northend score a quick couple of goals that mean curtains for Burridge. Lee Fielder makes a cameo appearances and scores, then Marc Judd strokes a free-kick onto underside of bar, but the damage has been done. Later at home while chopping carrots I was struck by the powerful urge to conduct a Wikipedia search of
Gary Breen. I remembered that his transfer to Inter Milan in 2002 fell through after he failed a medical. These days he plays for Barnet, such are the fine shades of here and there that colour our lives.

Picture Profile

This week it's Rich Allan, which you can see by clicking here. You may notice that they've called him Rick in the title, which suggests that there is a relationship in place between the Times and Rich, or Rick. Next week it's Paul Andrews.

This week's Burridge line-up by Pete Lyons was:

4-4-2 formation:

Goalie: Ryan Jones
Right-back: Sammy Hewitt
Centre-back: Kev Willsher (Sam Schwodler)
Centre-back: Paul Dyke
Left-back: Mark Emerson Sanderson
Right mid: Jay Schwodler
Centre mid: Rich Allan
Centre mid: Justin Newman
Left mid: Marc Judd (Greg Baker)
Forward: Ben Rowe
Forward: Bryn Schwodler (Lee Fielder)

Sub: Mark Reeves

Monday, 28 September 2009

M&T Reserves 0-5 Burridge AFC

Date:Saturday 26th September
Venue:Timsbury recreation ground
Previous meeting: 4-0 to Burridge

Today's referee is a bit put out that nobody has foreseen what he perceives to be a clash of kit that threatens the chances of the game starting at all. He doesn't allow two clearly distinguishable sets of team shirts of blue and black stripes against yellow and black quarters get in the way of being deeply unhappy about both Burridge and Michelmersh wearing black socks. You can just imagine the sort of parties at his house. Those with the audacity to double dip their nachos into the salsa would be asked to leave and never spoken of again. After much ado he decides that the game can go ahead, but only after he's completed a vigorous boot inspection and insisted that all player's jewellery be removed.

They didn't let things like colour clashes get in the way of a game in the 70's. Click here to see George Best in camouflage.

Both Michelmersh and indeed Timsbury are small enough to have avoided being gatecrashed by a Co-op newsagent's unsatisfactory small range of magazines. Timsbury recreation ground has a thirty foot net erected behind one of the goals to stop motorists on the A3057 from coming under attack from footballs. Their blueprints obviously hadn't taken visiting Bryn Schwodlers into consideration. He inadvertently starts a short lived craze of worrying motorists that remains popular for the first half. Meanwhile goalkeeper Ryan Jones waits patiently for a warm up that never fully materialises.

Bryn Schwodler: goals have been joyless until now. Why?

Burridge start the game as they mean to go on. Ben Rowe is a big boned greyhound leading the invasion deep into M&T territory with the subtlety of a cordless Black and Decker brushing an invalid's teeth. Each one of his attacking runs comes with a featured commentary from Burridge midfielder, Justin Newman, that never hesitates to cast serious doubt over Rowe's goalscoring prowess.

Rowe does, however, have much to do with Burridge's opening goal, squaring to Bryn Schwodler who cannot miss. Moments later M&T are unable to let a similar opportunity pass and put through their own goal. M&T are unperturbed at losing. Their right winger's wearing a gratuitous amount of wet look gel in his hair and has a tattoo of some inscription around his wrist. Rather than go for the usual Roman italic font he's chosen something that could be described as shopping list scribble. He announces loudly to his colleagues that the key to M&T's comeback stems from passing the ball into feet. Advice he completely ignores by bothering nearby squirrel drays almost every time he receives the ball.

During the second half Ben Rowe momentarily silences Justin Newman's anti 'big-man up front' propaganda, by making it three-nil after another powerful run through the M&T defence. Bryn Schwodler adds two more goals to complete his hat-trick. Goals for Burridge are usually joyless acts for Bryn. Normally he'd trudge back to the half-way line with the thinly veiled disappointment only an eight year old boy who's torn open the wrapping paper of his birthday present hoping to discover Subbuteo but ending up with a cruddy Blue Peter annual can ever truly understand. Not today though. He skips away gaily and the world still doesn't know why.

Ben Rowe: constantly picked on by Justin Newman.

Paul Dyke is on hand to keep things serious. With the score now 5-0 in Burridge's favour he returns to his defensive post with word from the referee that there's eight minutes left to play. He signifies this by showing eight fingers as if he's expecting some kind of Burridge collapse. Shooting towards the A3057 during the second half M&T have a few sniffs at goal but only succeed in bothering more cars.

After the game Burridge are invited into the Timsbury club-house where most players manage to put aside their suspicions of ham sandwiches made with one slice of brown and one of white bread. The referee appears for a quick half to show he's no stick in the mud. His tie remains obediently pressed against his top button throughout his brief stay. By the merest raising of her eyebrows the lady behind the bar seems to make a class distinction upon me when I refuse a glass with my tin of 70 pence Coca-Cola. Ben Rowe certainly resented having to endure 'the big one' from Justin Newman all afternoon, but chooses not to seek revenge through any kind of physical violence. It wasn't really that sort of afternoon.

Pete Lyons sent Burridge out in a trusty old 4-4-2 formation:

Goalie Ryan Jones
Right-back Sammy Hewitt
Centre-half Kev Willsher
Centre-half Paul Dyke
Left-back Mark Emerson Sanderson
Right mid Jay Schwodler (Sub Greg Baker)
Centre mid Rich Allan (Sub Mark Reeves)
Centre mid Justin Newman
Left mid Kristian Hewitt (Sub Marc Judd)
Striker Bryn Schwodler
Striker Ben Rowe

Substitutes were: Marc Judd, Mark Reeves, Greg Baker, Lee Fielder, Mike Reed

Absent were: Ben Hutton (on free holiday in Cyprus), Sam Schwodler (still banned although he was present with baby Lennon), Paul Andrews (fixing leaky pipes),
Luke Sanderson (surrounded by geeks who could do with some fresh air while working on Games Workshop job in Birmingham).

Monday, 21 September 2009

Burridge AFC 3-2 Hythe Aztecs

Date: Saturday 19th September
Venue: Botley Road, Burridge
Previous result: 0-0
When what happened: Mike Reid missed an open goal.

Click pic to enlarge: Justin Newman's concentration isn't broken by a referee growing out of the Hythe player's back

If you're the type of person who doesn't enjoy violence and confrontation, don't worry. You can always try the next best thing, and that's shouting. Loud communication isn't simply welcomed on the football pitch, it's recognised universally as a kind of skill. If in possession of the ball without anyone in your pursuit, you can benefit from your colleagues telling you that there's no great rush by shouting, 'TIME.' If indeed whilst casually jogging down the wing one of the opposition is bearing down on you like a chariot, it is helpful for you team mates to warn you by shouting, 'MAN ON.' And so it goes.

Within some players lies a mortal fear of the silence that occasionally falls onto a football pitch when say, the ball is being negotiated from from a nasty patch of stinging nettles. So all encompassing is this fear that those who suffer from it refuse to allow the fact that they have nothing of significance to say from broadcasting it loudly to the world. Nuggets of wisdom like, 'C'mon lads, it's quiet' are shared freely. This level of insight is usually reserved for those who point at the sky and shout, 'AEROPLANE.' Although taken to it's logical conclusion, if everybody shouted their troubling observations, you'd end up with, “THIS PLAYING SURFACE DOESN'T SUIT OUR PASSING GAME,' or 'MY WELL PAID JOB AND SEMI DETACHED HOUSE CANNOT DISGUISE THE FACT THAT MY MARRIAGE IS A SHAM.'

Hythe Aztecs' yellow shirts and blue shorts is a replica of what Brazil have made so synonymous with winning in style. It seems no coincidence that comparisons between the two sides are absent. Hythe are no mugs though, having drawn 4-4 with the Echo's tip for the league, Warsash Wasps, the previous week. If I didn't know better I'd think that Burridge captain Kristian Hewitt was having trouble at home. His high pitched whine can be heard every time Burridge make a mistake. If he continues on like this all season I'm worried he'll get a stomach ulcer. His mood isn't helped when Hythe take the lead. Finding themselves clean through on goal they can do nothing but score. Today's referee, who looks vaguely like Lyle Lovett, awards Burridge a penalty when Bryn Schwodler is pushed from behind. One of Hythe's entourage, who's bravely leading the comeback for stonewashed jeans, misinterprets this decision as an open invitation to call the referee a cheating wanker. The referee gives him a stiff talking to, maintaining the kind of volume that's suitable when communicating between floors despite being stood two inches from his nose. With Greg Baker (who's scored 17 out of 17 penalties) in New York, Justin Newman makes a farce of the idea that taking penalties is difficult and belts in the equaliser. Hythe then take a fairly terrible corner kick that's met by a tame header that's still good enough to put them 2-1 up.

Pete Lyons gees up Burridge, who in the heat have chosen to spend the half time interval laid flat on the grass. After twenty minutes of the second half it's unclear just how Burridge are going to come back into the game, but there's something truly exhilarating when a football shudders against the crossbar. When Ben Rowe causes the ball to chime against the metal frame it stirs Burridge into life. Bryn Schwodler had been gliding across the field like Rudolph Nureyev in black leather Puma slippers all afternoon and he scores two late goals that rely heavily on his newly discovered confidence. Burridge had worked hard to win, but the toughest job was still in hand. As Burridge peeled their sodden kit from their tired bodies, one had to sympathise with Sam Hewitt's washing machine, whose job of successfully masticating soiled towers of nylon goes unnoticed every week.

Click pic to enlarge: Newly introduced substitute Jay Schwodler takes defensive position as Burridge's furthest forward player whilst indicating how far wide his earlier shot at goal went, but is still unable to nick this goal off his brother.

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Jesus holds arms out in dismay after getting his marching orders from Darth Vader.

We'd been doing so well getting on with referees this season, but three games into a new season have resulted in three yellow cards. The referee has written the necessary report to the Hampshire football association, who forwarded the paperwork to the club. Up until a few years ago there was a tendency for referees to not bother sending in the paperwork that a yellow or red card warranted because it took up more of their time. By doing so the guilty player would have no fine to pay. These days referees are far more thorough. If you do get booked this season you can find out if you've been issued the standard £8 fine by clicking here.

Greg Baker's ability to consistently score penalties, (up 'til now he's scored 17 successive spot kicks), is almost matched by his knack of picking up bookings for dissent. He got another against Sway.

Bryn Schwodler had his name taken for some good old fashioned time wasting, kicking the ball away from the opposition to delay them taking a free kick.

Ben Rowe was the most unlucky of the three. His crime was coming onto the field as a substitute too quickly for the referee's liking. As a result, the club will pay his fine.

Under normal circumstances Sam Schwodler would be applauded for getting this far into the season without any referees asking for his name. This achievement has been undermined by the fact he's not yet featured for Burridge this season, having been suspended until 27th September.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Hythe & Dibden 3-1 Burridge AFC

Date: Saturday 12th September
Venue: Jones Lane, Hythe
Previous meeting: 1-4 that sealed Hythe's title win.

The idea of living dangerously to Burridge striker, Paul Andrews, could easily be represented by being struck by the impulse to say yes to ten quid's cash back at the supermarket and blowing it frivolously on takeaway chicken tikka masala, nan bread, poppadoms, and those little tubs of gloop we're often guilty of filling ourselves up with before getting served our main. The activities Paul carries out on a regular basis are: making toast, drinking tea, watching Zulu, going to the toilet and drinking tea. Bearing this in mind, one can only assume Paul's neighbour is embarking on the final stages of a nervous breakdown. Thirty-one years on Earth had been inadequate in preparing me for the news that Paul had received a letter from the council advising him that his neighbour had complained about the noise he makes shutting his cupboard doors.

(All pics Roz H) Paul Andrews (number 17) tip toes towards Hythe's goal.

Within minutes of kick off Bryn Schwodler scored a very good goal. Hythe's goalkeeper shuffled back desperately to stop the ball floating over his head as though faced with the dilemma of attempting to catch a tennis ball perilously close to a cliff edge, during an ill advised impromptu game of cricket. Once he'd retreated as far as the precipice of the goal line he came to a sudden halt. The goal acted as a reminder that the idea of Bryn being a good footballer wasn't just an old wives' tale. Over the years fellow players have shook their heads in disappointment at Bryn's lack of application to the game, as if believing his preference of idly picking his hands on the halfway line over wilfully chasing down opposing full backs had somehow denied him a footballing career with the Moneyfields and Havant & Waterlooville's of this world.

Bryn Schwodler realises he's way out of his depth in the country dancing pageant.

His lax attitude's usually met by a cross word or two in his direction. Having never retaliated to the verbal joust thrown his way has given some the impression that Bryn simply doesn't care, but I think I know better. This silence isn't a sign of apathy, but a flashback to the countless long nights he's spent sat starring into space, oblivious of the hour hand fast approaching three in the morning as he wrestles with his own footballing mortality. Although on cold reflection the likelihood is that he just sits in playing Mario kart, one hopes lobbing a football over the head of a goalkeeper who clearly has an eye for dessert will draw a line in the sand somehow on the subject of Bryn's attitude to tracking back.

Burridge find a suitable area to set up their picnic.

Ryan Jones reflexes are slightly late today, but unlike Bryn, the young man is not open season to hecklers. Mainly because berating the Jones boy would be no more beneficial than scolding your young nephew, who having waved aside several toilet breaks in his eagerness to reach Thorpe Park, has wet the interior of your Mazda, within tantalising close range of the turn off to the service station. It was an accident of judgement, of course, and the experience of having to remove his soiled underpants in the car park will serve him in far better stead for the future than a tanning in front of a coach load of pensioners ever will.

Chinese Monkey Allan's surprise new direction into art

Seeing as Burridge showed little interest in scoring a second goal, it's entirely possible they scored their first too early on in the game. Holding onto the lead for most of the game against last year's champions was out of the question after Hythe scored two before half time. It's good to see that the Echo haven't been put off by Burridge's lowly position last year, by tipping them as this year's wild card in the senior division. If they're led to be believed Warsash will finish first, Hiltingbury second and Redbridge third. That probably won't happen. Although the Echo's predictions were rather put into context by the teasing headline at the foot of the page that read, 'Jayne Campbell gives her predictions for the veterans' division in next week's Echo.' Rarely have capital letters looked so futile.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Burridge 4-3 Sway (After extra time

Date: Saturday 5th September
Competition: Hampshire Intermediate Cup first round

Sway had taken the wrong junction off the M27. I know because the man next to me in the ever so close other urinal in the Burridge toilets told me. 'Had the directions all put into me Tom-tom,' he said, before continuing with the second and presumably more telling part of his anecdote that I was unable to give my attention to, being somewhat pre-occupied with the splash back of his rapid slashing that sprayed gently onto my hands. There is not, as far as I'm aware, a law that forbids a man from dying their hair blond after a certain age, but if the House of Lords were to pass one tomorrow, this was a man faced with a vigilante future. If of course he wasn't prepared to get his hair cut.

(All pics by Roz H) Chinese Monkey Allan hovers above the ground. Click on all pics to enlarge.

Today Burridge play in the first round of the Hampshire Intermediate Cup against Sway from the New Forest. There is a school of thought amongst some players that says you cannot tell the quality of the opposition by simply looking them up and down before the game. While that's mostly true, it doesn't stop some from carrying out pre-game analysis of the opposition, in the vain hope of gaining some valuable insight into their footballing ability.

This is never more so when teams from different leagues, who have never played each other before, come head to head. No detail is too slight to be bought back to football, from the sports bag the opposition carry out the car, to the manner in which it's carried, to the gait of walk. As a very basic example: anyone walking with legs splayed like they've a big set of knackers clinging-clanging together like a set of cannon balls is obviously the man for the big occasion. Such analysis is generally, a complete waste of time, but that's not to say it's the premise of the weak minded. Former Burridge centre forward Barry Smith was a long term advocate of such behaviour and he wasn't some nut. I've lost touch with him since he left to join the army because he was bored of working in customer services.

Sam Hewitt enjoys a private moment in public.

Ben Rowe and Justin Newman, January and February 2010 calendar shots respectively.

The referee waited at the main door of the changing rooms to inspect the sole of everybody's boots, not to check if anyone's taped a wrap of speed to the sole of their boot, but in case anybody's studs are unsuitably sharp. Having been through this process countless times I'm still waiting for a referee to say something like, 'Play in those, son? Not on my watch you're not.' They just have a quick look and nod. Both teams were queued up next to each other in the changing room corridor like they do on the telly. I may have spoilt the reflective mood by humming a high pitch blast of the Champions League theme. The first half's a bit like an Hollywood blockbuster starring Nicholas Cage, quite a lot of action but nothing really resembling a cohesive plot. The rest of the game follows on like sequels to it.

Proof that red socks and jeans can work if you want it to.

1-0 Rich 'Chinese Monkey' Allan waits patiently to head in after Greg Baker's shot had launched into the sky off the crossbar. I find myself ignoring the celebrations in favour of pointing my index finger repeatedly to my temple and insisting everybody concentrates. I don't know why.

1-1 Sway tap in a left wing cross. We all stare at the grass and look moody.

2-1 Sway's goalkeeper handles a back pass from his defender, which as we all know is against the rules, then throws a hissy fit when the referee awards Burridge an indirect free kick. Kristian Hewitt touches it to Ben Hutton and whizz bang it's in the back of the net.

2-2 Sway again cut in from left for 2-2. More moody looks at the grass.

2-3 Sway score on the counter attack after quickly clearing a Burridge free kick. Their tails are up. Burridge look spent.

3-3 Justin Newman crosses to Kristian Hewitt to take the game into thirty minutes of extra time.

4-3 What's this? Ben Hutton up for a corner? Check. Paul Dyke incognito on back post in red hair scores the winner? Check. Their goalkeeper throws another hissy fit and lashes out at the nearest thing which just so happens to be a bin. He sends it flying with a good boot. The referee sends him off, so some poor git has to replace him and put on his sweaty gear.

Keep looking above and you'll see Paul Dyke (furthest left in red hair) escape tight marking and score from Ben Hutton's knock down.

(Above) Sway's goalkeeper shows total disregard for tanning solariums whilst on hunger strike.

Pete Lyons in instant pain after picking up jellyfish

Burridge go into the hat for the second round all keeping their fingers crossed for an away day on the Isle of Wight.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Warsash Wasps 2-2 Burridge

Date: Saturday 29th August
Venue: Osborne Road, Warsash

(All pics by Roz H.) Click to enlarge - Kristian Hewitt gets ready to pull trigger

The queen gazed into the distance with cold eyes. I didn't blame her for having the hump, her head was partially buried in the dry dirt on the face of a twenty pence piece, along with a broken amber bicycle wheel reflector, a warped plastic cherry Coca-Cola bottle top and an endless scattering of small stones that fight for space in the dead yellow grass of Osborne Road, home to Warsash Wasps. The pitch is flat though and with the changing rooms located directly behind the goal there's no need to eye up decent sized bushes in case you need to take an emergency leak, or worse. This ground has happy memories for Burridge. Eight years ago Rich Allan and Jay Schwodler scored the goals that beat Bold Forrester in the Southampton Cup semi-final.

There's forty-five minutes 'til kick off when I arrive, but Warsash are changed and ready in their yellow and black kit, an enthusiasm no doubt drawn from last season's junior one title win in which they lost only a single game. I watch them as they stand in a circle passing a ball around. Everyone of them seems immaculately turned out with short coiffured hair, polished black Adidas boots, with even a degree of care going into the neat binding of electrical tape that wraps around their socks to hold their shin pads in place. Rich Allan attempts to restore the balance by arranging cones for Burridge to run around. Ben Hutton takes a few pot shots at goal. When he misses the target the ball hits a garden fence that makes a cracking noise that sounds like it's about to die.

Chinese Monkey Allan holds off his man.

We return to the dressing room for Pete Lyons to name the team. When the referee put his head around our door two things became very clear. His Scottish accent is so broad it's just a noise I can't quite understand, and his pallid complexion looks as though it's made up entirely of Wensleydale cheese. He wanted to have a quick chat with us about what he wouldn't tolerate during the match, Burridge eyes turn to Greg Baker, because although he's been to Lesotho to help children in poverty, and is due to start a job with an initiative that's sole purpose is to help vulnerable people living in the poorest places in the world, he does need reminding before every single game that if at all possible could he reduce the verbal abuse directed at the referee to a minimum. Baker's dad is a referee. He used to referee our games when we were kids. He's also a keen follower of Gillingham FC and is known to fall into catatonic despair should they lose a game. You have to feel for Greg's mum. At this moment the referee is more preoccupied with the state of the goals, muttering something about needing another peg or two for the net if we're to get underway.

Justin Newman takes another breather while Fielder gives him the magic sponge. Sam Schwodler looks concerned.

Burridge start the game well. Kristian Hewitt collects a squared ball thirty yards out, waddling forward like some blind animal, allowing his bristled jowls to become hundreds of tiny blond antenna, all able to calculate the exact velocity in which to strike the ball that thuds against the underside of the crossbar and bounces back up into the roof of the net. He shuffles away to mark this goal with a raised index finger pointed towards the sky before being mobbed by team mates. Ten minutes later Justin Newman concedes a hotly contested penalty which Warsash score. Mark Judd then heads home unmarked from Hewitt's pinpoint ring wing cross to make it 2-1. During half time Kevin Willsher is unsure which is going to give in first, his back or his football boots. The sole is left clinging to the size ten Umbro boots he bought in the cut price sale at West Quay five weeks ago. He wraps reels of gaffer tape around them and hopes for the best.

Burridge gaffer, Pete Lyons, plots his next move.

It's difficult to tell from Pete Lyons' team talk if he's happy or just surprised at how Burridge are playing. There was little evidence of this kind of performance during the winless seven game pre-season. Wasps equalise in second half, their forwards rousing each other in reassured and earnest tones that the winning goal will come, but Burridge resist the temptation to fall to pieces and play out a draw. Players file off the pitch at the final whistle, asking how Saints were doing and were Liverpool still losing to Bolton. Without a transistor radio nobody could be sure.

Kristian's goal was a combination of this and this.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Burridge 0-4 Hamble Club Reserves

Monday 24th August at Burridge
kick off: 6:30pm

pre season fixture

(Click on pic to enlarge) Kristian Hewitt comes to terms with his existential angst while managing Burridge last Saturday against Bishopstoke. That or he's bored silly.

At last I managed to fight them off. I sat back on the wooden bench as they slipped below my knees, until they finally gave up their struggle and fell limply at my ankles. It was over. My underpants were off. It was at that moment that Greg Baker stormed in. He began slowly pacing around the Burridge changing room with his arms held out ahead of him as though he'd captured the rarest butterfly in the known universe within his cupped hands, but Baker was distressed and with good reason. Without immediate assistance he'd be as good as blind in one eye.

Baker parted his hands to reveal a contact lens curling up in its death throes. What was once a supple instrument for his eyes to differentiate between a lamp-post and somebody to mercilessly hunt down on Facebook was now perilously close to being useless. My earlier exertions may have robbed me of my underpants, but a pink sock on each foot spared me from being naked as I bent down to fish around in my kit bag, eventually pulling out Baker's quarry - a bottle of Saline solution. I handed it to him. A few drops into the lens returned it to its normal state and without so much as the reflective reverse side of a CD, Greg popped it back into his eye. Hallelujah, he could see again!

This was Burridge's seventh and final pre-season fixture. The question on everybody's lips was would it provide them with their first win of the campaign? Kristian Hewitt tried answering that question without saying, 'well they do play in the Hampshire combination, so probably not.' With the Hamble goalkeeper running errands outside his penalty area, Hewitt walloped the ball from the kind of distance many people would think twice about walking in the rain in. Once returning from the sky the ball took a single bounce a few feet away from the net, kissed the steel goal post and rolled to safety. It was the nearest Burridge came to scoring all night.

By half time Burridge were 2-0 down. I was partly responsible. When faced with younger faster men bearing down on the goal I'm supposed to be defending my mind is almost always possessed by the elegant pick pocketing of England's Bobby Moore during the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Unfortunately the referee wasn't convinced at my rendition and awarded Hamble a penalty kick. Two more Hamble goals followed in the second half as Burridge's midfield and defence drifted further and further apart. At the current rate of tectonic movement it's only a matter of time before the two begin to develop their own seperate dialects.

Tomorrow is the first league game of season against Warsash Wasps, the place where Gary Glitter was spotted one year ago in a wig outside a car room. Low are on the radio. Is this a sign?

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...