Reds draw a blank


Damo, 25 February 2008


A poor performance all round against a good team with a striker on fire and just too good for us on the night. Indeed, he was probably the best player we've played against all season and made a huge difference to the game. Key injuries of course didn't help but it's great to see we can still draw on a strong 13-man squad despite missing 3 regulars down the spine of the team.

Where to start? The first minute perhaps, when the CBS striker ran on to a through ball and took it round Owen only to try and be a bit too cocky perhaps from one yard out and he somehow managed to hit the post. However, Vipul's desperate attempts to keep the ball from rolling into the goal were in vain and PFFC found themselves one down with hardly a kick of the ball. We've battled back from far worse than this of course and despite the CBS striker causing numerous problems with his trickery whenever he got the ball to his feet, we were just holding our own and at times starting to get the ball down on the ground to play our usual game.

Our midfield was finding it difficult to get fully into the game though, as CBS' tactic of playing the long ball either to the feet of their tricky striker or to the head of their other striker was paying dividends. Midway through the first half, after conceding a free kick just inside our half, a dip in concentration led to CBS' second goal of the night and an uphill battle for PFFC. However, the next period of play showed a lot of positives from the players. Our best spell of the match was summed up by hard work and spirit. Despite not producing a goal, we were still able to compete with the opposition and were winning more of the headers and challenges.

At half time, the mood was still positive with belief of an early goal in the second half getting us back into the match. Sadly the second half overall lacked the fight and spirit shown towards the end of the first half. The CBS striker – easily man of the match, and possibly the difference between the sides – got his hat-trick and set up a couple of others for his team mates. Gaps appearing in the defence being exploited by clinical through balls and good movement from the CBS midfield. We battled on of course – Tony making some fine runs down the right and linking well with Vito – and probably deserved a consolation goal but it never arrived.

In fact, this is the first game of the season in which we haven't scored. Heads were down at the end and discussions ensued. The most important outcome though is to come out of the match positively and to win our three remaining matches against lower opposition. As mentioned before, despite a poor performance, we have to hold our hands up and admit that they were too good on the night.

The main positive from the night though has to be the fine wine and great food consumed at José’s after the match by Ally, Geoff, Damian, Andy and Owen. A Kevin Keegan-style 4-1-5 formation of Jamon, Bread, Basturia, Chicken Rioja; Chorizo; Patatas Bravas, Calamari, Squid, Tortilla and of course Black Pudding being delivered with the quality of a David Ginola set piece. It certainly took some of the pain away from the result. Hopefully, the food will taste even better next week following a win against Visa.


PFFC: Owen; Andy (Tony 65), Damian, Phil, Vipul; Tom (Vito 55), Ally, Tamber, José; Conrad, Eric