Burridge failed to score at Greta Park on Saturday 21 January against local rivals Hedge End Town. They haven't played in the two weeks since because of waterlogged and frozen pitches.
Hedge-End Town’s manager walked towards me after the referee’s final whistle with a smile on his face as we shook hands and said: “you boys dominated in the second half.” I nodded. Shooting down the slope it seemed that an equalising goal was only a matter of time. Martyn Barnett’s twenty-five strike had flown off the post with the goalkeeper glued to the spot. This was followed by a long period of the match in which we spent pretty much all our time in Hedge-End’s half. Getting past their defence wasn’t the problem, scoring was.
Lee Fielder may feel the game has left a black mark against his reputation as a goal scorer. He was first to react to another Judd through ball, which he took in his stride on course for goal, but he side footed some way wide of the post. He wasn’t spared by his team mates the following Thursday evening at Hamble Community College, where he was voted the worst trainer of the night. Although at times Lee behaves in a way that could be described as arrogant, one wonders what being promoted as the poster boy for bodged finishing is doing for his confidence.
Both Hedge-End and ourselves drink at the West-End Brewery after games, so bragging rights rested on the outcome of the game. We may well have dominated large chunks of the game, but it was Hedge-End who took the lead mid-way through the first half. Former Burridge striker, Stuart Seabourne, shooting across goal to score. Marc Judd saw his header return into play via the underside of the crossbar, so we had to make do with a 1-0 deficit going into the break.
By the looks of the starred panelling on the match ball it seemed to be endorsed by the UEFA Champions League. It was also a bit on the light side, so every time the wind picked up, which was around every other minute, it took to the skies on a course for France. This wasn’t conducive to a passing game, but on this evidence, nor was playing me in the centre of midfield. I was having one or two problems getting to grips with the basics of the game -passing, shooting, moving etc. This wasn’t helped by my bowels, which during the week had been shedding waste in much the same way a fruit machine spits out coins – at pace and with little prior warning.
My fitness regime has been at the whim of my work schedule, or to be more precise – the sales team I have been holed up with for days on end at a training scheme in a country hotel in Warwickshire. It would not do to refuse their offers of evening drink. I was grateful for small mercies - I was allowed to drink Corona. Hedge-End scored a second on the counter attack in the dying moments of the game. There have been no games that spring to mind in which we have imposed ourselves to such a degree without either taking anything from the game or scoring.