New-look Thinkers clip Falcons’ wings

Sporting Club de Falcon 2 PFFC 4

Owen, 16 April 2001


Kenny Dalglish once said of Astroturf: “It’s great for indoor bowls, not so great for football”

Well Kenny’s mighty reds had just been dumped out of the 1987 FA Cup by Luton Town at Kenilworth Road, so that explains the sour grapes!

But for up and coming Philosophy Football the old, green carpet caused no such problems. In fact at times we excelled.

In the shadow of Crystal Palace Sports Stadia, Philosophy took to the pitch keen to dispel the spectre of doom that plagued their Prague performance.

The Gaffer made some inspirational tactical tinkering. The boy Mather was switched to left back in a defence that welcomed the return of the commanding Brian. More astonishingly, Ian was to be used as an old fashioned centre forward.

The master-plan worked, Keir working endlessly, Cornish Al the vision of industry, Jez jinking and Raj Steven Gerrard-like.

The first goal was a rasping snapshot from the trusty boots of Ian. He then doubled his tally with a thunderbolt that was too hot for the goalie to handle.

In between, Philosophy were rarely troubled in defence. Paul and Brian were behemoth-like at the heart of defence and Filippo was making his trademark marauding runs.

However, near the close of the first half Rob the Cat made a crucial save as their number 10 broke free of Philosophy’s well marshalled defence. Rob spread himself and saved brilliantly with his legs.

The second half was packed with incident. Stefan latched onto a through ball and slotted accurately past the keeper and Cornish Al scored his first of the season with a mazy run in which he lost and won the ball twice before rounding the goalie and finishing with the good grace only the plucky Cornishman could muster. 4-0, it was looking all over.

Philosophy kept up their slick passing game but how long could it last? Well, about 20 minutes to be precise as they gradually surrendered control of the game. Then a rare defensive lapse saw Falcon score from inside our six-yard box before Rob was forced off into a string of great saves. Moments later, a Falcon shot fizzed and bobbled from the edge of the 18 yard box and somehow went under Rob. 4-2.

With 20 minutes left, surely Philosophy couldn’t let it slip. Ian, now in search of his hat-trick, blasted a shot which cruelly hit the underside of the bar and bounced out à la Geoff Hurst. Where was Roger Hunt following up? Where was the Russian linesman? Ian was positive it had crossed the line.

Still 4-2 and then came one of the game’s big talking points as Falcon swung in a corner, their striker headed down near the back stick to which Filippo responded by using some creative defending and batted the ball away onto the post and out.

The ever-alert Raj collected the ball and steamed up the pitch, took on their advancing keeper and hit the post from a couple of feet. ‘Unlucky’, as Filippo would say, but it would have been an injustice.

Philosophy bravely held on after the officiating Richard added liberally to the extra-time.

We can be very satisfied with the win and the way we played for the majority of the game especially when you consider we had no subs to replace some very tired Philosophy legs. The boys done good and at least a little credit must go to the Grafton Millennium League’s very own Sven-Goran Eriksson. Hurrah!