Brains no match for brawn
Deportivo 5 PFFC 1
It seems unfair to talk about another Philosophy Football defeat without reflecting on how misleading the score-line was. The four-goal difference doesn’t fairly represent a valiant effort by Philosophy to play the game the right way. The team passed the ball very well, all worked hard for each other and more importantly created some very good chances. The final score shouldn’t detract from how much effort was put in by all the boys on the team.
At the back Kofi, Owen, Vipul and Francesco held a tight line and had a real ‘thou shall not pass’ mentality. Dodo in goal was resolute and decisive in his decision-making. In midfield Will and Dave proved excellent at nipping the ball, breaking up play, passing tidily and purposefully and using Ally. Lawrence and Michele very well down the flanks. In particular Ally’s pace and Matt’s intelligent runs and constant probing really did cause the other team quite a few problems. After his hat-trick of last week Lawrence was also proving to be very dangerous to the opposition and was feeding Ally with some good chances.
In the first half Philosophy had three or four gilt-edged chances to score, and Ally used his pace well to run onto some expert through-balls which played him in. The red men defended well and attacked with intent and purpose and caused the other team a lot of problems: so much so that all we could hear ringing in our ears were the discontented words of the other team arguing with each other. We had every right to be proud of not conceding a goal against a very physically imposing team who were very hard to play against. Perhaps Ally was being too hard on himself in terms of our missed chances as they only came about due to his constant running and probing.
As the second half kicked off, the Reds knew that they had to make each chance count, or we would rue the missed chances. While we did defend resolutely for the first ten minutes of the half, a freak goal proved to be our undoing. The first goal really was a scramble in the box with us ultimately proving too slow at clearing our lines. The second goal was awarded even though there did seem to be a blatant foul on Dodo by the opposing centre forward. A glimmer of hope arose with Matt’s excellent goal to pull it back to 2-1, very much a testament to his desire to track back tirelessly, make intelligent runs and generally work his socks off.
The introductions of Felix and Johnni gave the team renewed focus and enabled us to be able to probe much more. The rest of the match seems a bit of a blur. Particularly at corners Deportivo used their clear height advantage and physical presence to good effect and by this time a lot of the confidence and intelligent play of the first half had diminished. The other three goals were a combination of bad luck, freak happenings and defensive sloppiness. One was a bullet header and another was a cross-cum-shot which sailed over Dodo’s head.
Nothing should detract from Philosophy’s performance, though, as a learning process it was excellent and if PFFC played the game we played in the first half every week we would definitely be a lot higher up the league. The first half should serve as a vision of the future and brighter days to come as we were an excellent, compact, well drilled unit who were causing a much bigger, imposing team a hell of a lot of problems. I’d prefer to forget about the second half!
PFFC (4-3-2-1): Dodo: Francesco, Kofi, Vipul, Owen (c); Lawrence, Will, Dave, Michele; Matt, Ally
Subs: Jonni, Felix