Thinkers get a lethal dose of Quinine
Quinine 6 PFFC 2
PFFC made a return to Regent's Park to open their delayed Cup campaign against their opponents from their first league match this season, which ended in 5-3 defeat as the Red Men were down to 10 for almost the entire second half. This time things should have been different as there were 14 names on the squad list; however, only 12 showed up for the kick-off.
We started badly: one goal down after two minutes and 2-0 down shortly after. Quinine's number 17 was running the show and almost scored again after two late tackles from Owen and Mario. He stayed on his feet and the ref played the advantage, which came to nothing. The Reds then rattled Quinine by scoring immediately from 'route one' football: a long punt towards Matt cleared their defence and he calmly lobbed the keeper to make it 2-1. Khan pulled up with an injury after 15 minutes and was replaced by Andy at right back. Quinine scored their third and PFFC were struggling to get into the game. Half time: 1-3.
The half-time talk ran that we had played as if we had 'eleven strangers on the pitch', and that it was time to get back to our passing game. The second half saw a first for PFFC: a live Twitter commentary from Ally (see the Twitter link on the left). The Reds made a couple of early attacks down the right hand side. Quinine were still looking dangerous and moving the ball quickly through the final third of the pitch. During one of these lightning attacks, Mario was given a yellow card for a foul on the edge of the area. PFFC had a three-man wall for the free kick, but the ball was played square across the box to an unmarked player who calmly slotted the ball in the left-hand corner: 4-1. Quinine produce yet another well worked attack which ends with their number 17 crossing to number 10, who heads accurately. 5-1 down and Quinine go looking for their sixth.
On Quinine’s next attack, PFFC clear the ball to Will, who plays a cross-field pass to Andy. Andy takes on and passes their last defender, beats the keeper and shoots, but the ball deflects off another defender. From the resulting corner the ball falls just outside the box to Andy, who plays a half volley into the top right corner stanchion. Incomparable! Some of the more recent additions to our team thought this was a fluke or a one-off, but our longer-serving players have seen this happen before. Two further attacks from the Red Men resulted in shots from Matt: one saved by a clearance off their line and the other by a fantastic one-handed save from Quinine's keeper. They then scored a final goal when number 17 sends an accurate back-heel pass to another striker. Final score: 2-6.
There was a short post-match debate on ‘stanchion’ versus ‘stanchon’ and what we could and should have done better. Quinine left a bitter taste on our tongues, but the fact is that we were poor organisationally and the lack of fitness and practice told.
PFFC (4-4-1-1): Rob the Cat; Owen, Mario, Dave, Khan (Andy 15'); Felix, Dan, Francesco,
Ömer; Will (Captain); Matt.