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

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...