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).