PF come out second in goal fest
Davis Langdon 7 PFFC 5
Another slightly unfortunate result for PFFC against a decent Davis Langdon side who we'd managed to beat 3-2 earlier in the season. With Matt, Bryan, Tom and Kieran out, PFFC had to bring in some changes to try and get back to winning ways. We started with Owen in goal, Tony and Andy as full backs, Phil and Damian in the centre, José and Al on the wings, Tamber and Ally in central midfield and the partnership of Conrad and Clarkey up front.
PFFC started brightly with the strategy that's worked so well for us this season of playing the ball along the floor and looking for the passing and movement of players to move up the field. Indeed this was certainly the best strategy against a tall Davis Langdon team who seemed slow at the back but strong in midfield. One of the major plus points of the season so far surely has to be PFFC’s ability to score against any side. With Kieran, Clarkey, Conrad, Bryan and Ally all helping towards making us the highest scorers in the league, confidence is always high when we have the ball. And this continued halfway through the first half when Conrad’s determination and strength helped him to nip in and score the first goal of the match to add to his impressive tally for the season. However, Davis Langdon's use of long balls was causing the occasional problem and PFFC were struggling against the height of the opposition at times, particularly at set pieces where Davis Langdon were guilty of missing some good chances.
Soon after, though, they equalised and then went into half time 2-1 up after a couple of lapses in concentration from PFFC. Undeserved maybe, especially for Owen who was making his first appearance of the season in goal after the injury to Matt and had done well to keep Davis Langdon at bay. Unable to play the usual short ball from goal kicks and set pieces – which have proved fruitful in recent games – PFFC started the 2nd half more determined to win the 50/50s, especially in the air. Despite this, Davis Langdon went two goals up following some good work by their tricky centre forward. However, PFFC didn't let their heads drop and for the next 25 minutes, both teams exchanged goals on a bizarrely frequent basis.
Conrad's outstanding performance worthy of another four goals for him to eventually take the score to 6-4 with approximately 10 minutes left. His hard work summed up PFFC's spirit this season and he certainly didn't deserve to be on the losing side. Soon after though, Davis Langdon were awarded a slightly harsh penalty as a 50/50 between Owen and the DL striker resulted in neither connecting with the ball in the box but the referee whistling for a penalty. Sure enough, the penalty was dispatched and with 5 minutes left the game was looking out of reach. Andy popped up near the end to score with a half volley from outside the area and it was fantastic to hear cries of 'Get the ball' from the players reminiscent of Filippo’s calls in previous seasons. It was not to be unfortunately.
Yet again though, despite the loss, some positives to take from the match. Proof of the strength of our squad, confidence in our ability to score goals, and some excellent football played again when we get the ball down and play along the deck. Some work needed to address set pieces and the leaking of goals, but if we can work on this and keep up our fantastic goal scoring record at the other end, we can finish the season strongly.
PFFC: Owen; Andy (1), Tony, Phil, Damian; Ally (c), Tamber, José, Al (Rico 70); Conrad (4), Clarkey