Philosophies clash way out west

King’s College Philosophy Football 0 PFFC 13

Matt Prout, 29 November 2009


For the second week on the trot, Philosophy Football FC trekked across London on a dimly lit Sunday morning. Despite the depression in the weather, the Philosophers were in good spirits as they met at a bleak Perivale station. However, for one Philosopher the commute to Perivale proved to be quite eventful.

In the spirit of industrious Perivale – location of the famous art deco-inspired Hoover factory – Owen demonstrated clearing up skills of his own, and a high level of humanity, on his journey to the dim Middlesex suburbs, by assisting in the rescue of a commuter who had fallen onto the live rail at Paddington. Although Owen wasn’t rewarded with a marmalade sandwich by the TfL staff, he was to be rewarded with a clean bin liner and an empty onion bag at the end of the Philosophy match, and with three points for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.

This was not see the end of the selflessness of captain Mather. In the absence of any regular goalkeeper, Owen volunteered to play between the sticks. Little did anyone know that this was his cue to don a shiny but sleeveless black bin liner to ‘protect himself from the rain’. This was undoubtedly a ruse: Owen’s bohemian fashion was more Hoxton Square than staid Perivale. 

The first half of the game witnessed some sublime and composed pass-and-move play on both flanks: Lawrence and Andy on the right, and Francesco and Cornish Al on the left. Cornish Al had clearly prepared well for the game, just short of his tenth anniversary with the club, and was consistently leaving the young King’s right back in his wake, whipping in some inviting crosses for both Lawrence and Conrad to convert. 

Newly signed Lawrence scored his first hat-trick for Philosophy Football with some exquisite play and efficient running down the right flank. Energy Secretary Ed Millband, brother of former PFFC squad member David Miliband, would certainly have been cheered by the energy levels being sustained by Lawrence, especially in the run-up to international climate negotiations at Copenhagen.

Not only were productive moves producing goals for some of the midfielders, coherent triangular passing brought about a collection of eight – yes, eight – goals for Conrad. This equals the club record, which he now shares with Neil James. Time and time again Conrad held off the theoretical challenges of the Kings College Philosophers to finish exquisitely. Scheduled to move on a lucrative deal to Germany, the Hamburg dynamo provided Kings College a lesson in supplementing the ‘target man’ style of football with some deft touches that delighted the fans on the touchline. Even the umbrellas manifested their joy with a Roger Milla corner dance. 

In addition to impressing onlookers and his fellow team mates, Conrad had brought his brother Andreas, who – along with Damian and the central midfielders ­– was instrumental in preventing any Kings College challenge on PFFCs goal. Supporting his team-mates, another new signing, Will, was disciplined enough to stay on the goal line to head away one goal-bound effort.

The Thinkers ran the game in the context of a pitch which was like a Bangladeshi padi field. The waterlogging prompted a decision change pitches at half time. The current consensus is that this game was the first in which Philosophy have ever switched pitches within a game. Certainly further research is required into this topic.

Moving closer to the clubhouse and onto a larger pitch, Kings College responded well in the first ten minutes of the second half with some good moves. These initial attacks were, however, short-lived and lacking in potency. Along with Andrea (not Andreas), Will orchestrated some sweeping attacking moves from the centre of midfield, and craftily created his own space to deservedly grab his first goal for Philosophy Football with a clinical finish from the left. Francesco also scored an unusual goal towards the end of the game which capped a fine performance from the young AS Roma fan.

All in all a good work out for the Philosophers who have adapted well to a fluid 4-2-3-1 system. Now the challenge is to maintain this quality football until the festive period and beyond.