Rampant Thinkers turn TNT upside down
PFFC 8 TNT 1
On a damp and drizzly Willesden evening the worry for most players in the dressing room, given some of our delayed kick-offs so far this season, was whether TNT would turn up on time. Skipper Damo, however, had more serious worries on his mind: he had forgotten his shorts! A number of frantic phone calls failed to produce any shorts. It was suggested that, since we were playing at a school, he should be forced to play in his pants and vest. Tom lent the skipper a pair of cycling shorts that were more long than short and, on the pitch, Damo looked like a cross between the late, great Payne Stewart (is this the first ever golf reference in a PFFC match report?), a skateboarder and the bassist from Linkin Park.
If Damo's shorts looked a tad dodgy there was nothing dodgy about his tactical nous. Some important changes were afoot: Andrea was moved up front, Conrad back into central midfield, Vipul would operate on the left of midfield and Ronjon slotted in at centre half. As an added bonus our Players’ Player of the Season for 2007/08 was returning to duty from long-term injury: Bryan would take his place on the bench.
PFFC started in a whirlwind fashion which blew the fragile TNT defence into oblivion. Within five minutes, Conrad found space on the edge of the area and struck a powerful shot into the corner of the net past a wet, flailing keeper. Conrad would be a constant menace to the beleaguered opposition. Then Vipul found himself in acres of space on the left, inside the box and with the keeper and defence static and appealing for offside. Vips played to the whistle and gently slotted home with the minimum of fuss. It has been rumoured that this could be his first ever goal in Philosophy colours; the records must be checked!
It was all-out attack now with PFFC stroking the ball around crisply, hungry for more goals, and it wasn’t long before Andrea also scored his first for PFFC. After a cross from the right he skipped past the hapless goalie, beating him with speed, and passed the ball into an empty net. With half-time approaching Andrea promptly doubled his personal tally: after good work in midfield, Damo slotted a ball through to Andrea, who struck gold from ten yards out. Somewhat against the run of play, and slightly carelessly, PFFC conceded just before the break, as a long punt into our half caught our defence cold and their centre forward eased the ball past the onrushing Matt, who had been a virtual spectator up to this point. Half-time: 4-1 to the Redmen.
There was some anxiety at the break that we would somehow conspire to lose the match, but the skipper steadied the ship and gave the team instructions to hit TNT hard in the first ten minutes and kill the game off. The plan was quickly put into action: Owen's wide ball on the left was flicked on by Vipul to Kieran, who lashed home on the edge of the six-yard box. Then Ally floated a free kick to the back post and Kieran arrowed the header down and into the back of the net. At 6-1 the Philosophers were oozing confidence and were arguably playing some of their best football of the season.
At this point, Andy was brought on for Tom at right back and Bryan for Andrea, with Conrad moving up front and Bryan anchoring midfield in his customary style. Conrad finished off a satisfying night's work with the goal of the game when Kieran flicked a long ball on to Ally, who threaded a neat ball to Conrad on the edge of the 18-yard box as he shrugged off his marker. He finished the move with a precise shot into the far corner of the net. Conrad completed a glorious hat-trick minutes from time with another well judged shot from inside the area, and thus completed the rout.
Philosophy Football Football Club have doubled their points total and are now ready to make the great leap forwards.
PFFC (4-4-2): Matt; Tom (Andy 65), Phil, Ron, Owen; Vipul, Conrad, Damo, Ally; Kieran, Andrea (Bryan 70).
Goals: Conrad 3, Kieran 2, Andrea 2, Vipul.