Monday, 15 August 2011

Bishopstoke 5-3 Burridge AFC

Pre-season fixture 4 of 6: Saturday 13 August, Bishopstoke Rec

Paul Dyke let us have it at half-time. He wasn't convinced we were putting enough effort into the game, and if there is one thing guaranteed to push his buttons it's a dubious work ethic. He cited our full-backs as an example.

"At times we're just going through the motions," he said, standing up as we sat down on the grass drinking tap water. "When we're defending throws, then yeah, I want you stood in front of whoever our centre-back is marking, but if the ball goes back to the thrower then you run, and I mean run your bollocks off to close him down."

Although I can testify to there being greater effort in the second half, it was not reflected in the scoreline, with a further four goals being conceded. Kristian Hewitt had given us the lead from the spot. This was cancelled out by a Bishopstoke equaliser. Martyn Barnett and Ryan Hurst both scored to level the game at 2-2 and then 3-3, but as the game went on the pitch appeared to gradually increase in size, as we began to look more and more tired; a factor that was not helped by having to use both of our substitutes in the first-half, due to injuries to both Ben Rowe and Marc Judd.

Dyke was far more diplomatic in his post-match autopsy. He reminded us that Bishopstoke did contest last season in the Southampton Premier Division, which is one level higher than us - albeit that their season culminated in a last place finish. It's not entirely clear why they haven't been relegated, although that was besides the point. Next Saturday's pre-season fixture has been cancelled, which may well be a blessing in disguise - although before that we have a game with Hedge-End Rangers Reserves on Wednesday evening.

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