Monday 12th April, The Shed, Burridge
Sholing's goalkeeper continued shouting at the referee long after the final whistle, as the sun set over the trees. In his opinion, thirty-five minutes each way was an unreasonably short game. He relied heavily on colourful language to make his point. Kristian Hewitt had scored Burridge's winner from the penalty spot. It had been conceded by Sholing's goalkeeper, whose team's arrival to Burridge had eaten fifteen minutes into the scheduled kick off time. The referee had warned both teams he wouldn't accept any abusive language. Seventy minutes of football was enough to expose a goalkeeper's short memory, as well, it seemed, as the strength of the referee's conviction.
Click on pics to enlarge: Kristian Hewitt wallops Burridge's winning goal in from the penalty spot.
The referee stood in the centre circle shaking hands with several Burridge players. Sholing's goalkeeper wasn't ready to call a truce. His words broke the referee's dignified silence. Who momentarily glanced in the direction of the goalkeeper for long enough to tell him that he wouldn't have had this problem if his team had turned up on time. The goalkeeper took his anger back to the away team's dressing room. The referee was in no rush to follow. The price for wandering if he was going to get a knuckle sandwich was his match fee of twenty-two pounds.
Bryn Schwodler weaved through Sholing's defence to make it one-nil, demonstrating great promise in a career of sticky witches. Sholing drew level from a corner kick before half time. Burridge's net yawned wide open for several shorn and unmarked Sholing heads to compete successfully in directing the ball past Ryan Jones. Responsibility to win the game rested with Kristian Hewitt. The club's third choice penalty taker had been fast tracked to the front of the queue by injuries and absentees, in a starting eleven that gave a début to Kev Judd, who wore the number seven shirt and a mop of hair. Hewitt put his faith in raw power and the Nike encasing his right foot. Five minutes later the game was over. Within ten the referee had his foot to the floor on the A3051.