PF force High Street slump
Marks & Spencer 1 PFFC 2
PFFC entered this game against their relegation rivals five points from safety. Defeat here and the possibility of ‘Hudson away’ next season would increase dramatically; the High Street grocers, without a league win since October, had the chance to revive their flagging fortunes. This classic six-pointer was the first of two crucial games between the teams, which would go a long way to deciding their respective seasons.
PFFC’s task was made more difficult by the untimely absence of Damian who, throughout the long season, was the linchpin of PFFC’s defence. Steffen, playing in only his second game, took the added responsibility with characteristic power and style. This was to be his game. Playing in the Brecht shirt, he wrote his own script and forged two crucial partnerships in the centre of PFFC’s defence; firstly with Filippo and then, after the Italian tired in the second half, with Rasmus. His performance and the manner of his approach confirmed the German’s arrival as a true philosopher.
Overall this proved to be the sort of disciplined performance that PFFC have produced in recent seasons when they most needed it. The first goal was crucial and after 25 minutes Ronan, making a rare appearance in his favoured left midfield role, cut in and hit a dipping shot with his right from the edge of the penalty area. His first goal of the season calmed nerves at a crucial stage and provided PFFC with an important first half lead.
Mauro’s classy finish midway through the second half looked to have settled things. However M&S came back and started playing their best football of the night at this point. They deservedly pulled a goal back, thereby ensuring a tense finish. It was all hands to the pump and there were some almighty scrambles in the PFFC penalty area. Owen, now established in goal, was giving nothing away and then there was Steffen, with his last minute tackles and continuing to win everything in the air.
The final whistle brought PFFC to within just two points from safety. The new signings have settled in quickly and we are on a roll. It’s as if the season has started again.