Reduced Reds battle bravely
PFFC 3 Quinine 5
PFFC opened their league account for the 2010/11 season with a commendable 5-3 defeat against Quinine. It was commendable for a number of reasons, not least that the Red Men were only ten red men for the majority of the second half and that there were four new names on the team sheet. The match was played in Wapping, which had a poignancy for this Philosopher, who the previous week had visited the Daily Express building on Fleet Street, the main location of London journalism and printing presses before Rupert Murdoch first showed the British people his power in the mid-Eighties by relocating his resources to Wapping and making hundreds of workers redundant into the bargain. Having had a number of journalists in the team over the years, this event in the history of the printed press will not be forgotten any time soon.
To on-field matters then, the reds started off passing and keeping possession well, especially considering half the team had not played together before. Mara instantly struck a fine partnership with Andrea in the middle of defence, with Jamie bombing down the right and Alex ‘living his life on the offside line’, to paraphrase Filippo’s comments about Inzaghi. It was the Bulgarian Theo, however, who made the biggest impact. His dribbling and possession was incredible and had he not been just about to depart London for Cambridge to study, his place in PFFC’s future starting elevens would surely be secure.
Quinine were playing well and scored first but the Reds always felt they could come back and they did so with a fine break, and a goal by Alex on his debut drew the Reds level. Half time: 1-1.
What happened next could only be described as ‘unlucky’ in a very heavily ironic sense. Right at the start of the second half, Vito limped off injured. Without any substitutes to call on, the Thinkers limped through the next 15 minutes a man down, allowing Quinine to score four goals in quick succession. This did not produce a defeatist mood, however, and Philosophy managed to regroup. Although not able to pull back a win or even a draw, the team did finish on a high with a couple of cracking goals to leave a more respectable score-line in the annals. First, Will saw his opportunity from about 30 yards and struck magnificently over the keeper to bring the score to 5-2. Then Theo bagged a well deserved goal from another astonishing bit of possession play and a few passes to fire the ball home.
This was to be the end of the scoring but the rest of the match gave a positive finish to the opening day of PFFC’s league season. Would the Reds have capitulated in those opening 15 minutes of the second half if they had another player to bring on in place of Vito? Who can say. Hopefully the 11 men who turned out this Sunday can become a more respectable 14 next time.
PFFC (4-2-3-1): Owen; Andy, Mara, Andrea, Khan; Jamie, Will, Theo, Ally; Vito; Alex.