Alex Fletcher’s hat-trick was not enough to stop Burn FC falling to defeat in the first Campus League fixture of the season, with The Dodgefathers leaving Bournbrook Pitch 2 with all three points.
The old saying goes that ‘if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.’ And on this Friday afternoon on Bournbrook Pitch 2, The Dodgefathers, made up of members of the dodgeball society, couldn’t dodge Alex Fletcher. After already playing earlier in the day, Fletch turned into the Portsmouth Jamie Vardy, slotting home a hat trick from only three shots on target, probably.
The game started tightly, neither team able to get a firm hold. A wonderful sliding tackle from Dylan Clarke let them know we were there early, despite it being illegal. Keeper Aidan Clarke was called into action on a couple of occasions, saving smartly with his feet. The Dodgefathers did get the first goal, but Burn didn’t let their heads drop, losing the clean sheet almost waking them up. Fletcher was played through, Burn’s turn of play too quick for The Dodgefathers, with Burn’s number 9 making no mistake in the 1 on 1.
The 1-1 score line reflected the equal nature of the game as half time loomed large. Katie Hill slid seamlessly into the system when called upon, showing no fear when challenging for the ball. Another for The Dodgefathers, followed by a second for Fletcher, very similar to his first, saw the game level at 2-2 going into the break.
After a chance to gain back some energy, alongside the support from their adoring fans, Burn started out the blocks strongly. Adam Gilbert was solid at the back, with the driving runs of Ollie Lenga akin to a certain Argentine forward. Oliver Shaw posed a threat on the wing asBurn looked to take the lead. However, Burn found themselves 3-2 down. Skipper Seth Nobes was at fault, letting their striker turn me too easily on the edge of the D, striking an unstoppable shot past A. Clarke.
However, Burn showed their resilience, and were able to come back from a goal down for the third time in the game. Again, a quick counter caught the Dodgefathers unawares, with Fletcher showing the composure to make it three for Burn, and three for himself. It was all Burn, and there was a feeling they could win it.
I didn’t catch their fourth goal, too busy trying to catch my breath on the subs bench after the most exercise I’d done since Year 11 PE. However, Burn had equalised three times, why not a fourth?Arguably the best chance to score our fourth fell to El Captaino, a beautiful dinked corner from hat-trick hero Fletcher fell to the skipper on the edge of the D in space. A sweet connection with Nobes’ weaker left foot was made, with the Dodgefathers keeper making a world class save to deny Burn’s deserved equaliser.
Some unsportsmanlike time wasting from The Dodgefathers saw out the game, the team in red taking all three points in the opening fixture of the season.
Player of the match is extremely difficult to call, but I think we can all agree without the heroics of Aidan Clarke in goal, we wouldn’t have stood a chance of a point.
The result sees Burn FC fall to 5th in the league. The team will be hoping to bounce back in their next fixture, facing I took Capoue FC at 4pm next Friday.
Report by Seth Nobes, photos by Ellen Knight