No way through

PFFC 0 BBC Post Production 0

Eric, 18 February 2004


The lads in red definitely came out strong on Wednesday night, with BBC Post Production reeling backwards to defend their own onion bag. Good strong simple passing is what we’d been missing as of late, and, in keeping the ball on the ground, we were spending the majority of the beginning of the game up their rattle and hums. Ally sent a great ball in early that no one was able to get on the end of. Unfortunately, it was to set the trend for our many set pieces.

Our midfield and boys up front were looking sharp; our back four truly were forming the Berlin Wall. Bruce and Damian proved to be a great pairing again in the middle, and Lele was making cracking runs forward, sending several dangerous balls into the opposition’s penalty area. Several times it was unclear whether or not he was at right back or right wing, prompting the Gaffer to move Eric to right wing to clarify things. Vipul had his usual form together, and rumours of talks with Scarborough ran amok in the back alleys of Willesden.

Not long after Eric was moved to right wing, he had a chance to volley PFFC ahead, but unfortunately he put the shot a bit too much on target, allowing the acrobatic BBC keeper to climb the ladder and punch it clear. He was to perform the same stunt later on a well aimed header from Kieran. The game settled into a rhythmic midfield battle, with good play all around, but with the Reds looking the more dangerous of the sides. Their runs forward often ended with good crosses in from Ronan or Dan, but tight marking at the back by the commercial-free team left PFFC frustrated.

The second half began much like the first, with Philosophy making runs at their back four, but to no avail. Marco was brought on in defence for Damian, who was probably thankful for the rest. Marco showed some athletic ability when he got on his bicycle and tried to put one away with his feet pointed skyward. Fresh legs in the physical form of Richard were brought on for the tiring Eric, and his mighty hurling of the ball was unleashed. PFFC was unlucky once again when Dan curled a beautiful little ball around his marker and onto the feet of a surging Dennis, who controlled the ball perfectly and then put it past the keeper and into the keeper’s best friend. The BBC keeper definitely had made it a difficult shot though, timing his run off the line to force Dennis to really place his shot tight into the corner. Gibbo came on in an effort to stir the porridge, and nearly was released on a mammoth cambio from Richard. Again, I think that grass would have slowed the ball enough to allow Gibbo a tight angled shot or a more dangerous cross.

In the end, two great defensive efforts resulted in a clean score sheet, which must be rare at Willesden. The BBC played tough and tight at the back and, in the end, they earned their point. A good game all round, although a scoreless game is considered, in my country and in the words of Homer Simpson, ‘Booooring!’ Man of the match has to be their keeper, Hops MacKenzie. It was a clean match, with the only altercations on the pitch being between your author and the opposition over what I truly thought was a clean header, and between Bruce and Dan over whether or not Simon from Pop Idol dyed his hair (he’s grey as a mule, I tell you). Off the pitch, however, it was a different story; in a dodgy QPR pub, the Gaffer and the Chairman got into a drunken argument over the new offside rule, and an innocent pint glass was decapitated by Hugh. Luckily, the Gaffer disarmed him and the two were soon best friends again. C’est la vie.

And I just want to say a word to Edgar, who we lost in negotiations to Third Division powerhouse Carlisle. Edgar helped start off this year’s PFFC football effort, slotting in goals to set the ball rolling. Truly his silver boots ­ which he found under an Aztec shrine deep in the jungle primeval of Oaxaca ­ were a factor. But they have fallen silent; los zapatos de plata son silenciosos. Alas.

And on a more positive note, I’ll be away snowboarding if France next week, and I’m sure I will miss the post-game title celebration. Make it a good one.

PFFC (4-4-2): Rob ‘el gato’, Lele, Bruce, Damian, Vipal, Ronan, Ally (c), Kieran, Eric, Dan, Dennis
Subs: Marco (Damian 54’), Richard (Eric 68’), Gibbo (Lele 76’).
Subs not used: Gazza, Hugh’s rattle