Complete performance secures easy win
London Reaction 0 PFFC 3
Benjamin Franklin once said that in life nothing is certain except death and taxes. Last night, in the freezing cold, Philosophy Football FC proved that one further certainty he forgot to mention is that hard work will always get you results coupled with an enormous sense of well-being. To a man the Thinkers worked their black socks off from the first whistle to the last. Poor old London Reaction, despite their name, had no answers and were lucky to get away with conceding only three goals.
After an extended warm-up (why is it that we are always on time and our opponents always late? ... fear, probably) Philosophy lined up with Vipul and Ronjon in the centre of defence, flanked by Owen and Andy on the left and right respectively. Captain Damo and Lukasz would marshal the midfield with Tony on the right and Tom on the left, and Kieran and Andrea up front.
The first minute saw our first and pretty much only defensive lapse, which gave possession to Reaction in the danger zone. Fortunately Matt, with his customary assurance, dealt with the problem and from then on Philosophy took control. The midfield battled hard, getting to any loose balls first, and the wingers constantly chased down any longer balls down the flanks. The back four of Reaction knew very quickly that they were in for a long and arduous evening. When Reaction did manage to wrestle possession from the Thinkers, their only idea was to pump it long over the top. They'd obviously seen the lack of height in Philosophy's back four but clearly hadn't bargained on Ronjon and Vipul being able to deal comfortably with anything that was thrown – or kicked – at them. With Andy and Owen providing great support, the few Reaction attacks were quickly snuffed out.
For all Philosophy's tenacity and menace in midfield and up front, clear-cut chances proved hard to come by. A number of corners and free kicks in dangerous positions came and went with no end product. In the past frustration might have crept in and unsettled the side, but not this time. The hard work and desire to press every ball continued and it was only a matter of time before a breakthrough was made. Tom launched a dipping volley from 30 yards with the keeper off his line, but it sailed harmlessly wide. Only a few minutes later Andrea found himself in space 25 yards out and showed Tom how it should be done. His superb drive gave the keeper no chance and rifled into the bottom corner: 1-0.
With Philosophy brimming with confidence, Damo had one of his easier half-time team talks, simply calling for more of the same. Which was exactly what he got. The pattern of the second half proved to be almost identical to the first. The only difference this time, with Reaction's players clearly tiring, was that more clear-cut chances were being fashioned. Kieran ran clear and, with only the keeper to beat, saw Lukasz in support and unselfishly laid the ball square. Unfortunately his pass went an agonising few inches behind the Polish midfielder and the chance was lost.
It was obvious that a second Philosophy goal would kill the game off. As time wore on, the team did not allow the ugly, though unlikely, spectre of an undeserved Reaction equaliser to unsettle them, and the flow of the Thinkers’ play remained uninterrupted. When Reaction did manage to get some possession, their through-balls were once again being dealt with easily by the Philosophy back four. Any that did get through – and there were only one or two – were quickly snuffed out by the ever-alert Matt, who, with 10 minutes to go, 'took one for the team' after a nasty collision inside the box with the on-rushing Reaction striker. After a lengthy delay Matt got to his feet and bravely continued in goal with what can only be described as a boxing injury. I bet he looked an absolute picture in the morning!
Damo made a quick double substitution (Phil and Clarkey replacing Tom and Tony) and, with Reaction pretty much exhausted and in disarray, both subs made their mark in quick succession to wrap the game up with 2 neat finishes, and put a more realistic complexion on the score-line. First Phil, followed moments later by Clarkey: 3-0 at the final whistle. A job very well done.
Philosophy can now look forward to what will undoubtedly be a much tougher fixture next week against Visa with a good deal of confidence. A similar display in Maida Vale will surely see 3 more points won and another leap up the table.
PFFC (4-4-2): Matt; Andy, Ronjon, Vipul, Owen; Tony, Damo, Lukasz, Tom; Kieran, Andrea.