Wednesday 22nd April
BTC Sports Club, Stoneham Lane, Southampton
BTC's groundsman stormed straight toward the goal mouth where a group of Burridge players were kicking a ball around. With a crooked jabbing finger he pointed them in the direction of a sign hanging in front of the dressing rooms that asked players to stay out of the goal mouths. It was an instruction that BTC would later take far too literally. Satisfied that he'd got his message across, the groundsman walked away only to notice something laying on the grass, that to everybody else looked like a banana skin, but to the groundsman represented two fingers up to his profession.
"That wasn't there ten minutes ago." He stared. "Who does it belong to?" Paul Dyke was more interested in getting an energy boost from a quick snack than wanting to start a fist fight with a man with quick access to garden tools. He scooped the yellow skin up in his hands and walked back to the away team dressing rooms. The groundsman followed, walking past a group of BTC players who'd still yet to get changed, confessing to them that he hadn't had a drink for three days. I wouldn't want to be the person responsible for leaving an empty bottle of Lucozade in the six yard box on the weekend should he have managed to stay dry that long.
Click on pics to enlarge. Top: Sam Schwodler has his studs checked by the referee. Below: Ben Hutton enjoys a quick snout.
The first half provided little by means of entertainment. Paul Dyke's voice is usually heard by all, but on this occasion it was having to compete with the nearby fast moving traffic of the M27. Burridge's main creative force during this period was Justin Newman. Unfortunately for Burridge he was only here as a spectator, and his offerings were solely concerned on finding new ways to make fun out of Lee Fielder, who having come dressed in a hat stolen from a pensioner's wardrobe, made Justin's task comparatively straightforward.
Mark Reeves had spent the first half stuck out alone on the other side of the pitch with a linesman's flag in his hand. There was twenty minutes left of play when he was brought on as substitute. Within ten seconds of his arrival Burridge had scored. His exchanging of two quick successive passes was the beginning of a move that ended in Kristian Hewitt hitting the ball under the BTC goalkeeper from the outskirts of the penalty area. BTC barely had time to argue about their lapse in concentration when Rich Allan added a second goal, which effectively ended the game for BTC.
Click on pictures to enlarge: Top: Bryn Schwodler relaxes. Below: the first half action