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?