Reds shut down by Invisible opponents
Invisible FC 1 PFFC 0
The Gaffer was a notable absentee from this now famous fixture but, despite persistent rumours, he was not serving a one-match touchline ban for accusing Alba manager Hany of conspiring with referee Dragan to influence the outcome of the Alba match. In fact he was attending the Italian film festival, but was still pulling the strings by communicating with Filippo through a sophisticated earpiece in the arm of the Italian's Ronnie Barker specs.
The match kicked off with the 4-3-1-2 formation that had previously worked to such devastating effect. Marco was the man in the hole behind Dennis and Mauro up front. The skipper started at right back with Cornish Al on the left of midfield alongside Kieran and Giacomo.
The early momentum seemed to be with Philosophy as the Reds got numbers forward and had a few shots, all of which went hopelessly wide or rolled into the hands of the keeper. All the play was going through the middle of the park and, with neither team looking to dominate the wide positions, possession was lost too easily and both teams started to hopefully punt the ball forward for the strikers to chase.
Philosophy's two best chances came from a dipping long-range shot from Kieran that looked to be going in but bounced just wide, and an effort from Dennis that was saved well by the rushing Invisible 'keeper.
Possession and territory was shared almost 50-50 in this game and it looked as if the team that scored first would probably win. So, it came as a massive blow when Invisible took the lead through a feat of opportunism. A mix up in the defence resulted in Owen desperately rushing out to clear the ball. The otherwise superb 'keeper was unable to find touch and the ball fell at the feet of the small and nippy left-winger named Ozzy, who took his chance and hit an excellent shot from range into the open goal.
The Reds struggled to get forward during the second half – despite Filippo cleverly switching to a 4-4-2 to get more width – as Invisible effectively shut up shop, and PFFC were lucky not to concede a second as an Invisible effort bounced off the bar and onto the goal line.
On the hour Philosophy introduced Adam in place of Ronan and, ten minutes later, Gibbo in place of Mauro, with Gibbo moving to the right flank. The Reds started digging deep and showing that fighting spirit that had fuelled so many second-half fight-backs last season.
It wasn't to be, however, and the final whistle marked the end of a real battle of a match. Every previous match against Invisible has also been a great battle and, although PFFC are yet to triumph over the Premier League champions, the Reds are always commended by Invisible for their attitude and fighting spirit.
Despite another solid midfield and defensive performance this was, overall, a poor performance by Philosophy's standards. The finishing simply was not good enough and an unnecessary defensive error cost a crucial goal. Nevertheless, to lose only 1-0 with a bad performance should provide some level of encouragement; on another day we could have scored a few goals against this team and the incredible spirit at this club will definitely see us bounce back from this result and pick up some crucial points. We're just too good not to.