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.