Small errors cost Reds dear
Sporting Falcons 5 PFFC 0
PFFC was treated to a harsh welcome on Clapham Common last Sunday. The Reds’ jerseys clashed with the home team’s which led to us changing, some into black jerseys and some into blue. This didn’t serve as a good omen. Indeed, Philosophy Football FC succumbed to less than inspiring yet effective performance from Sporting Falcons.
The home side started in 4-4-2 formation, with two strong forwards who, between them, scored all their goals. The home team dominated the first 10 minutes with less than elegant long balls forward in search of their two front men. They struck the woodwork twice, the rest of their efforts being denied by PFFC’s stand-in keeper, Rina. Rina had a fantastic first half, making a number of important saves and clearances. Philosophy’s back four remained strong, with Giovanni and Andrea denying Falcons on a number of occasions. By the mid-point of the first half Philosophy had managed to settle down and the Falcons looked tired and frustrated. Ömer continued to have a good game with some nice one-twos with Andy and Tom. The visitors controlled the midfield with great passing and control by Tom and Will who, in turn, connected effectively with Ally and Ömer on the wings. Tom continued to find space to manoeuvre and linked well with Ally and Khan along the left flank. Lone striker Kieran created some excellent scoring opportunities that were denied by their strong defence. Khan and Andy (left and right back, respectively) made dashing runs along the wings, connected well with the midfield and provided good cover at the back. Finally Felix appeared to complete the eleven, joining Kieran up front to form an excellent partnership up front that frustrated Falcons’ central defence.
Until around 35 minutes Philosophy looked to have play under control. Then Falcons went ahead via a corner kick and an unfortunate deflection from Khan’s large head. Nevertheless, Philosophy remained optimistic, making several further attempts on goal before the end of the first half, and remained in control of the game.
Four changes were made at half-time, Matt on for Ömer at right wing, Francesco at Left Back for Khan, Mario replacing Andy at right back and Felix making way for Alex up front. Unfortunately no sooner had the ref blown the whistle to start the second half than the Falcons went two goals up. Rina’s excellent goal keeping skills couldn’t prevent their strikers’ intensive attacks. Philosophy continued to find it difficult to adjust at the back, leaving holes which their two centre forwards took full advantage of. Another goal followed after a long pass upfield to one of their front men, who squared it to the other for a clean finish.
The second half was not without its chances for the visitors. Matt fought well along the right to provide some excellent service to Alex up front. Tom moved to a more defensive position, leaving Gio to move to central midfield; from here he linked several great passes to Kieran. Yet, Philosophy’s efforts were hampered by the two strong Falcon forwards, who went on to score another three goals identical in their design: a long ball forward from defence or midfield and taking full advantage of some less than perfect defending from PFFC. However, even at five goals down Philosophy continued to show spirit and determination. They stemmed the goal tide and settled themselves better towards the final quarter of the match. Left back Francesco made his way forward and had an excellent shot that skimmed the crossbar.
This was the classic ‘game of two halves’ – in fact, a game of four quarters, with all the damage being done in the first part of the second half. Philosophy once again proved that they are an excellent passing team with good levels of fitness overall, and always tend to enjoy the first half of the game. For the team to continue on a positive trajectory we need to refocus at the beginning of the second half, and continue to have the sort of excellent turnout of players which we for this match. With the development of a strong consistent squad there is great potential for the rest of the season.
PFFC (4-4-2): Rina; Andy (Mario 45'), Andrea, Giovanni, Khan (Francesco 45'); Ömer (Matt 45'), Will, Tom, Ally; Kieran, Felix (Alex 45').