Irregular late strike sinks red men
PFFC 4 – Strategic Optimists 4 – New Cross Irregulars 3
On a chilly November day, the gallant Philosophy Football FC take on Strategic Optimists, resplendent in their new kit, and New Cross Irregulars. In keeping with recent form, PFFC's squad is affected by injuries, work commitments and overseas trips! We have James's cousin Aaron guesting, and Academy squad member Alfie turns out to boost our numbers. We are then reduced to 5 as we 'loan' Aaron to NXI, in order that we can all start with 5.
It's a frenetic start as New Cross decide to attack only the PFFC goal and the strategy of the Optimists seems to be a policy of 'after you'. Sure enough, within 10 minutes we find ourselves 2-0-0 down after two very dubious goals, which are enough to send us reeling. However, we regroup and, emboldened by some wobbling in the Optimists' defence, manage to sneak one just before the first break, leaving us nicely poised at 2-1-0.
In the second third, we throw everything at the NXI goal, which itself seems to live a charmed life, hitting the post twice and blazing over when the simplest option is to hit it low and hard – always easier to suggest when you're in goal. However, something has to give, and indeed we eventually break through. Michael, proving to have a competitive zeal rarely seen on a park in New Cross, scores three times, twice against the Irregulars and once against the Optimists, to peg back the game, leaving us at the end of the second period at PFFC 3 SO 1 NXI 3.
The final third sees the formation of an obvious alliance between the men in red and the men in black to descend on the parked bus of the SO goal line. Eventually two goals are forced in to bring the score level at 3-3-3, and at that point it becomes a complete free-for-all. With help from NXI, Michael puts one more past the Optimists to put Philosophy in 'winning draw' position with NXI. And then in the final minute, with the sun beginning to fade, NXI decide to launch one final attack at the PFFC goal, and their bearded wonder, Owen, beats one, beats two, lines himself up and toe-punts the ball past the stranded Cat and wheels away in celebration ... the final act at the death for NXI in what was a fantastic advert for the delights of the three-sided-game.
There were excellent contributions from all the men in red. James and Ally were solid in both attack and defence, Michael contributed superbly with his five goals and constant 'sledging', and wee Alfie showed some excellent defensive qualities that reminded one of a very young Tony Adams! I got in a few good blocks, but I'm annoyed about those three flukes that flew past me ... ah well, onwards and upwards.