Philosophy enjoy a stroll in the park

PFFC 2 OW Strollers 2

Joe, 15 October 2000


Strollers by name, Strollers by nature ­ they were late, very late. Which in the end played into our hands because we spent the intervening time being pleasant to the immaculately presented Colombian referee. He was to repay the favour 90 minutes of football later.

The Strollers were last year’s champions, pleasant enough off the pitch, not too jolly on it. This would be a real test of our credentials.

The journey from Wimbledon had clearly left them disorientated and they were further befuddled when we took an early lead following an inspired move between Al and Raj. The finish by Raj was cool as you like and we proceeded to dominate the first half.

Indeed this was a game fashioned for Raj: tough. Amidst much good football, the tackles, both clean and late, continued to fly and our Colombian friend was hard pushed to keep a lid on the simmering tensions. It was Paul who finally incurred his displeasure, picking up a yellow card as the Strollers turned up the heat in the second half.

As the defending grew increasingly desperate, the back four found themselves on the retreat, the gap between them and the midfield growing larger by the minute.

Finally the pressure told. Twice within quick succession, balls into the box were not cleared and the Thinkers found themselves behind.

But this is a different team from previous years. Where once we might have caved in, this time we regrouped and reasserted our passing game, building down the flanks, playing for the quick movement of Chris and Stefan up front.

It was from the flanks that the equaliser finally came, Terry, more involved in the second half, stealing in unnoticed behind the pedestrian Strollers’ centre-backs. The celebration was heart-felt.

Conscious that a point would be an excellent result for the club, the final minutes were tense as Strollers pushed on.

Again the defending was desperate and as the 90th minute came and went, Strollers paid for their late arrival. A run by their playmaker into the box was unsubtly stopped by your correspondent. A clear penalty. Our Colombian friend pointed. But not to the spot. To the edge of box. Direct free-kick.

I accused the Stroller of diving. He accused me of being a prat. The free-kick went into the wall. The whistle went. Great point. Great game. Philosophy’s on its way.