Reds miss out on May Day parade

Athletico Aesthetico 2 Philosophy Football 2 Husaria 2

Owen Mather, 1 May 2016


May Day brought sunshine and throngs of left-wingers, thinkers and socialists both to the crammed streets of the capital and to Fordham Park, New Cross for the penultimate game of the season. Fresh off the back of an inspiring and surreal BBC Radio 4 broadcast by poet-in-residence at Barnsley FC, Ian McMillan, which featured 3-sided football, PFFC were ready to do justice to the game inspired by the philosopher/artist Asger Jorn and eloquently rhapsodised on by skipper/goalkeeper/actor Rob.

Some tweaks to the starting line-up were required before kick-off as Rob was nurturing the nascent talent of son Alfie in a district cricket match, Duncan withdrew at the last minuted, David gamely volunteered to make up the numbers for a team in the match played concurrently with ours and Owen returned for his annual outing for the Reds. Within minutes of kick-off PFFC had conceded, but this only assisted in shaping Philosophy as the pivotal player in the contest as Husaria and AA were intent on attacking each other, allowing PFFC to direct the flow of 3-sided football traffic away from our goal. In the first third we displayed a valiant intent but with little reward after finishing 0–1–0.

The second third began with Colin making a string of agile saves during renewed pressure on the PFFC defence, but we steadied ourselves and continued our original role as orchestrators-in-chief with Leo resolute at the back and assured at playing dangerous forward passes as well as posing a formidable aerial threat in our opponents’ penalty areas. Jamie worked intelligently, always available and running tirelessly for the cause. Owen and Billy were able to gain the trust of both our opponents alternatively building attacks with long and short balls. And it was via this strategy that we assisted the Poles young strike force to breach the AA goal who then quickly recruited our know how in attacking and scoring against Husaria after a brief conversation in which a pact was struck to threaten the Polish team more. It quickly became clear that AA were conscious of the need to catch them on points in the league table. 1–1–1.

The final third was now going to be interesting in terms of who would forge alliances and allegiances with who. Briefly PFFC were under pressure again with a well taken half volley on the turn from one of the fresh faced twins up front for Husaria. Colin inadvertently forced both AA’s keeper and Greg in goal for Husaria into making saves from his goal kicks and Billy was a persistent threat with his tricky dribbling and speed. Then the breakthrough PFFC were looking for arrived as good wing play again from the Polish youth team provided a cross into AA’s box which whizzed through a forest of legs with Jamie heading to the back post Owen marginally got their first to strike it right-footed (!) through the AA keeper’s legs from a few yards. The game now focused on a strong alliance between AA and PFFC to penetrate Husaria’s goal one last time. Leo and Jamie linked well with AA’s pacey striker, Billy was darting here and there and Owen tried to encourage play from midfield and then finally the breakthrough came as AA’s strikers linked well with PFFC for a final flourish with five minutes remaining when AA again scored from close range. And so it finished 2–2–2.

In summary, a fair result in which PFFC rarely came under persistent defensive pressure and we were able to apply some of the finer points of three-sided game including gaining the trust of our opponents, cooperating strategically at the rights times thus appearing accomplished in the apparent chaos which initially confused Ian McMillan at the beginning of his radio programme. It’s easy if you know how.

Team: Colin; Leo, Jamie; Owen; Billy.