Putting ghosts to rest

South Indies 0 PFFC 1

Ally, 16 February 2004


A bit of a strange one, this.

After a week’s holiday, the skipper arrived at the Willesden Millennium Stadium in buoyant mood after hearing that PFFC had got back to winning ways with a five-goal hammering and a clean sheet.

His mood was heightened when, sizing up the opposition (not in the dressing room, I assure you), he realised that this was a much changed team from the one which had inflicted PFFC’s first league defeat a fortnight earlier. “They’re a bit old” was the initial reaction from Dan.

A squad of 17 players was available. With two games in three days to contend with, Ronan and Eric made way in the knowledge that they would be vital in Wednesday’s game against the BBC. The Gaffer also wisely decided to rest Dan for that game. Nevertheless, a strong starting 11 was selected and we set to work.

The first half was a cagey affair, with not a lot of talking going on; an icy atmosphere with both teams struggling to settle. One team settled quicker, however, due to the immense right foot of Cornish Al who pasted (not pastyed) a volley into the top left corner from the edge of the box.

Philosophy’s attacks were now filled with vitality and verve, but no breakthrough appeared even with the return of Jamie, who partnered Dennis up front. The reds were forced to shoot from distance with frustration creeping in when they reached the final third.

At the other end, few chances appeared, mainly due to Philosophy’s blossoming defensive partnerships, and the first half came to an end with Philosophy shading it and deserving their 1-0 lead.

In the second half there was a shared belief that Indies would be trampled on, but both teams seemed to cancel each other out. Dan came on in a free role, but his cries of “rubbish” and “fouling bastards” proved less encouraging than we initially hoped, as they were directed at his own defence. Nevertheless, his skills resulted in fouls being given away in dangerous areas but, once again, Philosophy couldn’t capitalise and gain a cushion for themselves.

This wasn’t the same team that crushed Philosophy two weeks previously, however; our defence was never really troubled by their meanderings up front, and the game fizzled out. It seemed that both teams gave up the chase towards the end, and it finished 1-0 to the reds.

A strange one right enough then, but at least the points were in the bag, leaving the Gaffer safe in the knowledge that four points were the only thing separating him and Philosophy from their third title in as many years.