A three-zing night
PFFC 3 Viacom Outdoor 1
On the coldest night of the year Philosophy turned out with renewed strength and depth. This has been the season of the legends: the return of Big Brian, a team of legends taken to Madrid, and now Neil and Tamber returning.
This team was determined to put last week’s defeat behind them and a new sense of professionalism was evident from the start as Kieran led a (much-needed) warm-up. Philosophy attacked from the off; reverting to 3-5-2 strengthened the midfield and enabled wingbacks Ally and Tamber to break up the line safe in the knowledge that the back three would stand firm. All the early chances fell to Philosophy with Kieran shooting over after a few untidy clearances and Neil and Clarkey outpacing Viacom’s lethargic defence. Brian even attempted an Alonso-style lob from the half way line prompting Cornish Al to remark from the sideline: “Against the run of play is not a phrase we want to hear at this point.”
When Clarkey was put through and saw the ball hit the post, spin across the line and out it just didn’t look like Philosophy’s night. Sure enough Viacom came back into the game and created several good chances forcing corners and shooting wide from ten yards. Honours even at half time.
The second half began in scrappy fashion with neither team able to get the ball down and play for sustained periods. It needed a breakthrough and it came via the boot of Bryan as he attempted a cross-come-shot from the edge of the box. The ball sailed over the keeper to put Philosophy ahead [at least this is what I hear happened as I was retrieving a ball from the trees].
Philosophy looked in control at this point beginning to move the ball around without the usual “the ball is a bomb” panic. However, after a defensive slip from an innocuous through ball Viacom’s speedy striker nipped in to slide the ball past a stranded keeper. 1-1 and the battle was on.
Philosophy eventually came out on top through determination, concentration and sheer force of will. Damo held the backline without putting a foot wrong all night, Bryan fought on through a pulled hamstring and Kieran just kept running. When Clarkey beat the offside trap to easily slide the ball home it was thoroughly deserved. Viacom kept pushing in the final 20 minutes but strong substitutions enabled Philosophy to hold onto same the lead that slipped away last week.
The only thing left to add was the icing on the increasingly cold cake. Neil had said before the game that every time he returned for his “last game” he ended up losing without scoring. The curse was finally broken as he burst down the line and lobbed the keeper from a near-impossible angle. A great strike and just reward for his never-say-die attitude. We know he’ll be back for more.
3-1, 3 points and closing in on that 4th spot...