Thinkers fight for a draw in the dark
PFFC 1 BBC Post-Production 1
This game almost didn’t happen, as it was a 7.30 pm kick-off on a pitch with no floodlights. The second pitch at Paddington Rec has been resurfaced during pre-season with long fake grass. For older readers, it’s similar to the surface you used to find in a greengrocer; younger readers, look up ‘greengrocer’ on the net! The organisers decreed that both teams could play at their own risk, so the game became 30 minutes each way with no half time. Hopefully Paddington Rec isn’t one of the venues for the 2012 Olympics – if it is, we’re in trouble!
Onto the game itself; the second match of the season for Philosophy, against BBC Post-Production, who are top of the division. PFFC start with 10 men including a welcome return by ‘Little Bryan’ at centre-half, and debuts for Alan replacing the injured Marco4 in goal and new player Woody. The PFFC starting line up is 4-4-1, and straight away produces flowing twelve-pass move which leads to a shot on goal from Mikey. After 5 minutes, Clarkey comes on the make up the 11.
During the first 15 minutes, Andy curls a shot wide from 30 yards after some good exchanges in midfield and Kieran’s clever chip almost catches the BBC keeper off his line. BBC haven’t had a shot from open play when they force a corner down the left flank after 20 minutes. The corner isn’t cleared properly and a BBC player smashes the ball into the net from just outside the 6-yard box into the left-hand side of the goal. Yet another goal conceded from a corner by PFFC; this problem has to be sorted out as the weeks go on.
Ally pulls up after 25 minutes with a hamstring injury and is replaced by Roberto. Half-time follows and Woody is substituted for Andy. Philosophy start brightly and press for the equaliser. Five minutes into the half, Clarkey moves onto a beautifully weighted pass from Kieran, muscles past the last defender, drawing the keeper and side-footing it past him into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal just off the inside of the post. His fantastic finish galvanises the Red Men, who push for a second. Clarkey has an appeal for a penalty turned down and, to be fair, the referee couldn’t see it in the gloom of the second half. Tackles are flying in – mainly on Rob! – due to the lack of light, and the referee sensibly brings the game to a halt at 8.20 pm.
Lots of positives: a well earned point for PFFC in a difficult second half, plus excellent debuts by Alan and Woody. Bryan looked like he had never been away and worked very well with Damian in a commanding centre-half pairing.