Philosophy turn the corner!
New Cross Irregulars 0 PFFC 0 Deptford 3-Sided FC 4
After the excess of Christmas, the regular irregulars that make up the PFFC squad were ready to work off the pud and endless After Eights and begin the new year with focus firmly on climbing up the table. The squad was boosted by the late inclusion of Matt, whose 11-sided game (do people still play this odd form of football?) was cancelled and meant he joined Nick, Ömer, Mark, Duncan, Michele and Alfie in tackling Deptford and the current champs, New Cross Irregulars.
I merely looked on and donned Geoff’s managerial cloak, as a shoulder injury has unfortunately put paid to my season. This meant we had rolling keepers. Matt donned the gloves for the first third and was coolness personified when he seemingly allowed a ball to fly past and hit the post, and collected it on the rebound, using his Jedi powers to the maximum! The first third was eagerly contested by all teams, although most attacks centred on the Deptford goal. NXI consistently leaving two at the back and only venturing beyond the ‘half-way’ line in sporadic moments. PFFC link-up play was excellent: Duncan and Michele were masterful at the back and reading the game so well that Matt was able to finish off the final pages of War And Peace in the last few minutes of the period. Nick bellowed encouragement, playing the Peter Storey role to good effect, whilst Mark, Ömer and Alfie held the attacking midfield roles superbly. The first third ended with the scores at NXI 0 - PFFC 0 - Deptford 1.
We’ve been in this position before and its often the second third that sees attacks on the PFFC goal. However, this didn’t materialise today, and the second third continued in the same vein as the first with most activity centring around the Deptford goal. Mark scored against them and our emerging youth policy bore fruit as Alfie ran on to a free kick to hammer home the third (#prouddadmoment). This opened up the game and eventually Deptford, assisted by our own forward line, forced one past NXI and Ömer, now in goal, was helpless as a strong shot curled passed him to make the scores at the second break 1-1-4.
The final third was old-school ‘nip and tuck’ as Deptford decided to join any attack on either opposition’s goal. Such is the beauty of the 3sided game. Duncan continued with his MoM performance and, together with Nick and Michele, dealt with any attack on our goal in assured manner. Anything that did get pas them was saved admirably by our new ’keeper, Mark. Eventually, the pressure told and a second goal squeezed over the NXI line, and then it was backs-to-the-wall defence of the Philosophy goal. We entered a ‘hoof at any cost’ phase in the final few minutes before the final whistle brought the match to a close and heralded the first victory of the season for PFFC: 2-1-4.
It was an excellent performance from the whole squad, who took on with unquestioning commitment the rolling substitution needs and gelled with great aplomb. Sterling stuff from all concerned, and we can now look to move way from the bottom and begin to climb up the table.