Reds suffer two Lancashire treats
Warrington 2 PFFC 1
After last season’s ill-tempered encounters with Warrington – both of which ended in stalemate, although arguably the Red men should have secured all six points – and given our flying start to the new season, hopes were high in the Philosophy camp. PFFC started with the regulation 4-4-2 with slick interchanges of passing, especially on the left flank, that saw Cornish Al and Clarkey link up neatly on more than a couple of occasions. A lightning counter-attack orchestrated by Marco Tre led to PFFC having three against one on the edge of Warrington’s box, but the correct option wasn’t selected and a decent chance went begging. PFFC were to rue this soon after as a routine corner was swung into our penalty area with the aid of a blustery wind; it found the noggin of Warrington’s centre-forward, who was unmarked and, unchallenged, opened the scoring past a helpless Marco Crispi: 1-0.
As ever, PFFC were not too downcast, as we have come back from much worse, especially at the back end of last season; Abbey in particular sticks in the memory. However, this Herculean spirit appeared to have temporarily deserted the Philosophers tonight. As Andy professionally jockeyed a Warrington winger to the by-line, he quickly turned inside and with a bouncing ball struck a fluke cross/shot past a despairing Marco into the far corner of our net: 2-0. It was the bastard half-cousin of that goal Marco van Basten scored in the 1988 European Championship final against the USSR. The player will probably tell all his mates in the pub that he meant it and what a fantastic goal it was, but all those who bore witness to it know the truth!
At half-time Gaffer made some astute tactical changes that had an immediate impact – Eriksson take note. PFFC reverted to 3-4-3 with the ever dependable Damo, Vipul and Giacomo marshalling the defence and Giovanni and Gonza injecting calmness, skill and intelligence in midfield and up front, respectively. The gamble paid off within about 10 minutes of the restart as Kieran and Clarkey linked well to release Ally on the right. The flying Scotsman tore past a couple of defenders and struck a firm, low shot which in turn got a slight deflection to wrong-foot the keeper and hit the back of the net: 2-1.
It was game on for PFFC but for all our pressure in the second half we couldn’t make it count, the only alarm at our end resulted in a fine Marco save, tipped around the post. We pressed some more but could not find a way through. The final score-line was extremely disappointing, especially after such a great victory in our previous game against Alba, but by the end of the season this particular game will be long forgotten by the Philosophy Football collective consciousness.
However, the post-match meal at Jose’s provided our silver lining. Plans were hatched regarding our Rome sojourn, and I had a chance to introduce our Italian contingent, Giacomo and Filippo, to a Northern delicacy ... black pudding, or blood pudding as it is often referred to in Lancashire. I hasten to add that I refrained from explaining to the lads what this ‘pudding’ consisted of as they were tucking in: take several pints of congealed pig’s blood, add rusk, encase in a length of intestine and bingo! Although I thought if I divulged this information it might put them off their grub.