Thinkers frozen out on icy pitch
PFFC 1 TNT 4
With weather conditions making this feel like Moscow's Lobonovsky Stadium in the bleak midwinter, PFFC should have taken to the field in ice skates rather than the regulation trainers. The astro-turf was rock solid frozen and as slippery as an ice rink. It wasn't just the elements we were up against either as we had sent a delegation to Filippo's book launch in central London, those left comprised of the ten hardy souls willing to brave the might of TNT and the sub-zero temperatures. We also welcomed our new Bulgarian debutante, Peter, who has risen through the ranks of the PFFC Turnham Green 5-a-side Academy.
Both teams started the game tentatively with the ball skidding viciously on the icy surface and we all struggled like new born Bambi's to keep our collective feet. Within the first fifteen minutes we were a goal down as a corner was swung in with TNT's centre forward making full contact only to see his attempt ricochet off Ron and past a wrong-footed Matt in goal. At this stage Philosophy were playing some spirited football and trying desperately to carve out any chance we could. Despite going a goal down heads were held high and everyone was keen to rouse and encourage each other which was just as well because a quick breakaway from TNT left a lone striker through on goal and a clinical finish to made it 2-0. Surely things couldn't get any worse for PFFC but they did as Peter raced through on goal only to be brutally hacked down by a defender already noted for his thuggish appearance. Unfortunately this is where the brave Bulgarian's evening ended as a badly twisted knee ensured that he could no longer continue with his promising debut.
However, these adverse circumstances served only to steel the men in red as a neat Tamber through ball (returning after a long lay off) found the striking colossus called Conrad who deftly slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper. 2-1 at half time and spirits and hopes were high. The plan was to try and maintain our pressure and shoot on sight. Unfortunately tiredness due to the fact of being reduced to nine players got the better of us but that is not to say that there was no lack of passion and heart. Matt made a world class save tipping over from a wickedly dipping shot but couldn't stop a TNT wonder strike from 25 yards and was unlucky when he parried in a one-on-one only for the striker to bundle in the rebound. PFFC didn't really have many opportunities to attack in the second half but we managed to stifle, frustrate and harass the TNT team who appeared irked that we wouldn't just lie down and let them rout us. The redmen are made of sterner stuff these days. A fine second half display was capped off by Matt who made an instinctive save when the striker was clean through. The match ended in a 4-1 defeat although for all those that took part it can be considered a moral victory as our commitment to the cause never wavered. The best is yet to come from Philosophy Football FC.
PFFC: Matt; Vipul, Ron, Phil, Owen; Damo, Tom, Tamber; Peter, Conrad (1).