Well, we all knew what a kick in the balls getting relegated to the Zameretto Calor Stik Beezer Homes Southern League would be like. A far cry from visiting luxurious hubs of English football such as Staines, Boreham Wood and Basingstoke, we now get to visit some isolated pieces of land that nobody has either ever heard of, or desperately try to avoid, like Biggleswade, St Neots and Poole. Having definitely been reading this blog over the course of last season, the big cheeses at the Southern League clearly wanted to reward us with 2 quick fire away days to start the season. And they couldn’t have been any kinder, sending us to greater London destinations Arlesey and Burnham.
We have actually had some meetings with Burnham in the past, back in the old Dr Martins Eastern division in the early noughties. Christ knows how we got on, but we probably stuffed them, like we did with most sides back then. Anyway, as it was Cam’s birthday I promised him we’d take a half day off work to make an afternoon of it in Berkshire’s finest. Having hopped on a post lunchtime train from Paddington and figured as its local, we thought it’d be rude not to have a few cheeky beers at a staple TSOF drinking town, Maidenhead. Few drinks down, we headed back towards the station via the famous Honeypot where we noticed our Sutton based hombre’s Gandermonium sticker outside, so naturally we stuck one of our own above it.
5pm, and we duly arrived in Burnham. No word of a lie, it felt as if we had landed in Dorchester’s very own Castle Park with almost identical streets and road names, I half expected to find Stevie Hill stumbling through the alleys chanting AFC Bournemouth songs at full voice. Seeing as there was practically fuck all within a kilometre, we duly found a drinking spot. Where else, but an Italian restaurant/bar called Tammies (“Tammies?! Ain’t that what northerns call tampons?!) Tampons or not, to be fair, it was rather pleasant. This was to be the rendezvous for Vossy to arrive, at which point we agreed that Cam would have to down a shot of jagar for every goal Dorch scored that night, which greeted to the usual generic responses on twitter, such as “yeah cheap night then lads!” Of course, they (and we) were thinking logically… or so we thought.
As we walked towards the taxi rank, the heavens opened, literally. Flash flooding occurred, and we were adamant the game was going to be called off. Arriving at the ground, where we met with the small mob of Dorchies who drove up, the rain had eased off slightly and thankfully the pitch seemed in good “Nick”, so the game went ahead.
We kicked off, with the ‘Pies wearing our all yellow away strip. We came out of the blocks and BOOM! Ben Joyce has put us ahead after 30 seconds. Before we even had time to celebrate, Burnham lost possession straight away; Danny Smith fed a cross to Dan Cann, who overhead kicked the ball into the top corner. 2-0 up and we hadn’t even played three minutes. Ridiculous start, which only got better six minutes later. Nick Crittenden smashed it home to made it three and got his second to make it 4-0 inside 25 minutes. Burnham frustratingly pulled one back shortly after and we went in at halftime 4-1 up.
The second half saw us play some more lovely attacking football with Critts getting his deserved hattrick, and the first a Dorchester player has scored in the league since Jamie Mudge back in 2008. FT: 5-1 and what a terrific response from Saturday, much to the delight of the away fans behind the goal. While still looking suspect at the back, we looked electric going forward and with that kind of attitude, we’ll be more than fine this season. Let’s just hope for consistency eh!
Back to the bar it was where we did the usual mingling with the players with Cam staying true to his word, drinking a shot of jagarmeister per goal. Yes, we scored 5, so 5 shots it was! We certainly should keep setting ourselves these ridiculous challenges. If it means we’ll score a fuck tonne of goals, then I’m happy.
(Ed – The affects of Cam’s “fist” of Jager and a 5-1 win, hit on the train home. Not too shabby for a school night)