Go west my son!

Hudson 2 PFFC 4 (Winter Cup)

Filippo, 5 November 2003


We had to go back to leafy Maida Vale to find victory again. After one draw and a long series of hammerings, we went back to our roots and put up a great performance. It was on this ground (the other pitch to be precise) that last spring we annihilated Inter Aztec, our rivals from old times, to win the Grafton League for the second year in a row. Old times? Yes, a mere six months later, PF is a completely different team. I was the only player in the starting line-up that was here two seasons ago, Ally and Kieran were the only other survivors from the previous campaign. But thanks to the magic of the Gaffer we managed to change the team without changing the spirit. I don’t know if he has a mould and creates players from that, but oddly enough once again I found myself contornated [surrounded] by very nice guys. And, OK, we don’t play on a Sunday anymore (to my great dolente [regret]), but we play very well during the week.

After struggling to get ten men out in Hackney Marshes, we found ourselves with four men on the bench for the second encounter of the Winter Midweek Cup. Fifteen players, after a wonderful turnout of six players plus the Gaffer (that’s a five-a-side team plus a sub!) at Ally’s latest gig.

Set against a fast and loud team, we took 45 minutes to bond. Nevertheless, in the first half we managed to score two goals, create at least three more golden chances, and concede one goal on the one and only real distraction of the defence. They were shouting, we were scoring. First with Dan (“This is for the prick over there” celebration, with his shirt over his head à la Ravanelli ­ something to cheer your scribe, who with his only goal in three and a half years won the “Celebration of the year” prize in 2002), then with Edgar.  

A bit shy, less powerful than against the BBC, we were struggling to regain confidence. At half-time the Gaffer moved Dan upfront to give Ronan, Jamie’s brother, his debut, and we welcomed back Big Brian from injury, unusually positioned at right back. We took complete control of the game: Ally was immense, the opponents were running out of steam, and we killed them with two wonderful chips. Hudson were playing offside like they were Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan ­ pity they hadn’t Franco Baresi, nor two linesmen. Dan beat the offside trap passing the ball to himself and then lobbing the goalie (“That’s too easy” celebration, with me and, unbelievably, the Gaffer himself charging on towards the scorer). Edgar chipped the keeper from almost 20 yards, only to be attacked by the same guy shortly afterwards, who accused him of a late challenge (In England? Late challenge? It was never the case).

So, thought for the night at the end of a wonderful game in W9: is PF too posh for Hackney Marshes?

Sempre vostro,

Hudson 2 (1) PFFC 4 (2)  
PFFC (4-4-2): Adrian; Filippo (Brian 46’), Bruce, Bryan, Vipul; Kieran (Gibbo 75’), Ally, Jamie, Dan; Edgar, Eric (Ronan 46’).  
Gaffer: the Gaffer.
Subs not used: Danni
Supporters: Hugh (and the rattle), Keir (without the sporran)
Goals by Edgar (2) and Dan (2)