My brother was strangled in his car. He heard shouting as he parked next to a grass verge alongside a block of terraced houses, so he wound down his window to get a better listen. It was coming from an old man, who was coming closer. He looked about sixty. He looked angry too; then he reached in and tightened his cold hands around my brother's throat. My brother pulled himself free and got out of the car, slamming the door behind him.
What the fuck are you doing?” He shouted.
The old man kept telling my brother to move his bloody car.
"You can't just go doing things like that,” said my brother. “You're an old man.”
The old man took this as an invitation to fight. “Come on then,” he said, raising his fists. My brother shook his head and moved his car, as the old man stormed off back inside his house.
Fear of the old man conking out with a heart attack weakened my brother's desire to retaliate; but noticing the old man had left his front door open, my brother walked toward it. “Hey you,” he shouted. “I'm calling the police.”
The old man appeared looking startled. “I've already done it,” he insisted, and with that he shut his front door behind him. My brother had come to watch us play. Little did he know that this would be the only funny thing to happen all afternoon.
Burridge goalkeeper Ryan Jones likes to follow a routine before a penalty is taken against him. As the taker picks up ball, Jones fetches his water bottle from behind his goal line and takes it with him for a twelve yard stroll to the penalty spot. He likes to delay the taking of the kick with a quick swig, then he spits a mouthful out into the mud near the taker's feet, has a long hard look into their eyes, then slowly walk backs to his goal-line. On this occasion it didn't seem to do the trick. Later that evening Jones was stood by the bar, sipping another rum and coke, complaining that he never was quite ready for that penalty. Dan Esfandiari provided us with the greatest goalscoring threat by hitting a beautiful ball across Netley's penalty area. It deserved better far better than ending up in a bush. Essy held his arms out by his side to vent his frustration at none of us being able to get on end of his delivery. Sam Schwodler benefited from another whipped in cross from Essy by scoring with his head. We were back in the game, or so it seemed.
I was on the left with the ball at my feet when it happened. All I had to do was smash it up field; instead I chose to dilly-dally. This pleased the opposition no end, who having taken the ball from me, broke away to score a third goal, and with it perhaps momentarily puncturing any genuine belief we had in coming back into the game. Cock ups like this were a serious threat to my position as a self proclaimed pillar of the Burridge fraternity. At half-time we retreated to the quiet of the away team dressing room. Rather then send us out with a flea in our ear, Dyke reminded us that we still had 45 minutes to play and that was a long time in football. He was right.
|Paul Dyke touches up Jason Wilson's make-up|
One of the teenagers lit a cigarette and pointed at Reeves. “He don't look like the sort to do skill,” his friends nodded in agreement. “He looks like the kind of bloke who would go through you.” Reeves' shaven head and cold blue eyes were enough to convince a handful of young lads that he was a hard-case. Burridge's first half mistakes were enough to make Netley believe they were better than us. Whether Burridge believe that is unclear.
GK: Ryan Jones
RB: Dan Allen (Jo Hill)
CB: Kev Willsher
CB: Ryan Hurst
LB: Mark Sanderson (Mark Reeves)
RM: Sam Hewitt
CM: Jason Wilson
CM: Daniel Esfandiari
LM: Kristian Hewitt
CF: Ben Rowe (Lee Fielder)
CF: Sam Schwodler
Marc Judd was there too.
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