Thinkers resolved to win

South Indies 1 PFFC 2

Joe, 13 January 2002


Writing the report for the equivalent game last season was a cinch. That was a day of spectacular ructions: the referee shattering our nerves by handing Indies the life-line of a penalty, Terry and Filippo shattering the north London torpor, and a pub that finally shattered our spirits for good that day.

How different things were this time, on a morning of calm, dare one say it, professionalism. If we needed a measure of how far this club has progressed, events at Caledonian Road provided it. We had three substitutes, none of whom were called upon to act as referee. We zipped the ball along the ground with clever one-touch passing. We shot from distance. We refused to fold when we were pegged back. And then, the defining moment. We took the advantage offered when South Indies' playmaker was forced to leave with 20 minutes left. Such an event normally throws us into polite fits of guilty introspection. This time, however, and despite a few, unnecessary wobbles, we held on to our re-established lead in rather ruthless fashion.

So to the facts. We dominated early on, passed and moved as well as we have done this year, and took the lead when Raj redirected Marco's pile-driver past a stranded keeper. We then took our foot off the pedal and they scored a decent goal with our back four caught rather square. These things happen. The rest of the first half was even, though towards the end it saw us regain control with Chris restoring our lead by sprinting onto a misdirected back pass and slotting past the keeper. In the second half we carved out half a dozen good chances, one of which we ought to have converted, which would have spared a rather tense last 10 minutes.

And to cap it all, the pub was a beauty. Good food, good beer, the Sunday papers, the Ricci rumour mill, footie on the TV. And above all, the warm glow that comes from a job well done and the knowledge that PFFC not merely boasts philosophers who play a bit of football, but footballers who know a bit of philosophy.