Tootie-fruity, you’re routed
Sporting Tooting 0 PFFC 10
First things first, and make sure you're sitting down as you read this. We had subs. Two of them.
Other than that, things were pretty much as normal. The dressing huts on Clapham Common looked like they'd been recovered from the set of The Great Escape. Some stranger wandered in as we were getting changed and asked if we had any drugs. Owen was late. An average Sunday morning with PFFC.
On the pitch, which rapidly turned into mud, things also took on a familiar hue. Knowing that Ian had to leave at half-time, a good first-half lead was important. Not only did we get the lead, we also secured the win. The game was effectively over after 25 minutes, with PFFC cruising into a 5-0 lead. The opener came from the spot, Ian leaving his goal-keeping duties behind for a moment to stroke the ball home. After that it was plain sailing and to be honest I can't remember the order of the goals. Suffice to say, Kieran, Ally, Neil (chesting down a cross and smashing home the volley in one move), Puskas (his header ending the best move of the game) and Brian (who glanced home Al's free-kick) all got on the score sheet.
It wasn't the most uplifting of games, though Tooting raised some smiles: at 5-0 down, one of their players shouted, 'Come on Tooting, they're not that good, we're just making them look good,' which provoked a team-mate to suggest he shut up because actually we were that good.
Talking of shutting up, or in fact not shutting up, Tooting's Polish playmaker Woyzeck gave a masterclass in whinging at the ref. Not since Filippo hung up his boots has a man talked so much on a football pitch. Eventually, football's equivalent of tinnitus proved too much, provoking the normally mild-mannered Ally into firing back a curt Highland suggestion that "Amfairscunnert! Dae ye think ma heid buttons up the back? Awayan'boilyirheid."
8-0 up at half-time, we were in no need of the cavalry. Owen turned up instead, nursing a hangover so deep that it took him five minutes to realise we were taking the piss when we claimed to be 3-0 down, another five to tie up his laces and five more to finally swerve his way to left back. Fifteen minutes of rain and mud later, he was perfectly sober.
With the pitch virtually unplayable, the game got bogged down, the highlight being Brian getting though 45 minutes in goal without once using his hands. Everyone did their stuff. Ally and Kieran are looking excellent in midfield; the back four were unruffled, Puskas and Paul taking it in turns to push on; Cornish gives us genuine width on the right, Marco's skills deserve a better surface; Steve continued to prove himself an excellent utility player, slotting in effortlessly at full-back; Neil is the best striker in the league and Gibbo will surely soon find the goals to go with his link-up play.
So, an all-too-easy victory which lead to some discussion about whether we need to find a new league in the future which will have fewer one-sided matches. For now, we still need to win every game, including those against Aztec and OW Strollers, if we are to retain the title we fought so hard to capture.
Men of the match: Ian for turning up to play for the first half, despite work commitments; Ally for a classy performance despite the mud.
Team: Ian (Owen 45); Paul (Joe 70), Brian, Puskas, Steve; Marco, Kieran, Ally, Al; Gibbo, Neil
Goals: Ian, Neil, Kieran, Ally, Brian, Puskas, ?