Reds suffer Common assault
Sporting Tooting 4 PFFC 3
The opponents were a bit of a
So defeat was disappointing I confess
It was a seven goal thriller
The result was a killer
But encouraging signs none the less
With a hint of spring in the air, the Philosophers headed to leafy Wandsworth Common to take on the might of Sporting Tooting. On arrival, the pitch looked suspiciously small, and incredibly close to adjacent pitches, but, undaunted, the Thinkers took to the pitch with hopes high of recording a much needed victory.
And these high hopes seemed justified as PFFC, employing a 4-3-3 formation, raced into a three-goal lead despite the difficulties presented by a bobbly pitch and a gusting wind. First Ally, who caused havoc throughout the first half on the left wing, fired home, and then Matt capitalised on a short back-pass to double the lead. And when Matt fired home a stunning left-foot volley with half time approaching, the three points looked secure. However, just before the interval Tooting pulled one back in the most controversial of circumstances, as a cross from the left-hand side was scrambled home despite an obvious push in the penalty box. Many thought a foul had been given, only to be shocked to see the ref take the ball back to the centre circle to resume play.
Still with a 3-1 lead at half time, and having dominated proceedings against a disorganised and squabbling Tooting team, the Philosophers were in bullish mood during Andrea’s half time team talk. For the second half, Andy and Lawrence were withdrawn and replaced by Vito and Jonni, as PFFC reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. But before the players could even settle into the new system, Tooting pulled themselves level with two quick-fire goals: the first an unfortunate own-goal, the second a stunning free kick. And things went from bad to worse for the red men, as Vito was forced to limp off following a clumsy challenge from a Tooting defender in the penalty area. To add insult to injury, no penalty was given. And then less than five minutes later, Tooting took the lead for the first time, a powerful drive from the right-hand side of the box giving Dodo no chance.
After 15 minutes of madness, the Philosophers recovered their composure and started to get back into the game. But despite plenty of pressure and a number of half-chances, the breakthrough never came. So ultimately a disappointing result, but plenty of positives can be taken from the way the team played for the majority of the match. A number of the team then headed for post-match drinks in the appropriately named Hope pub, with the mood far from despondent following this encouraging performance.
PFFC (4-3-3): Dodo; Andy (Jonni, 45’), Damian, Kofi, Owen; Lawrence (Vito, 45’), Dave, Andrea; Will, Matt (2), Ally (1).