Showdown at the New Cross corral
Athletico Aesthetico 2 Strategic Optimists 1 PFFC 2
The big March edition of the Luther Blissett 3sided League saw the ‘old friends’ from the early days of 3sided friendlies meet on the kind of claggy grey day that only London seems to provide. Oh to be playing on that plush surface in Rome that PFFC once played against Italian journalists, but alas no, it was the bumpy lumpy green that is New Cross.
PFFC were short on numbers with only the regulation five; the extra players that Alex informed me would turn up never materialised. We welcomed back Billy the Whizz – a nickname relating to his speed and manoeuvrability, not a reference to any substance abuse – along with Mark, Duncan and Nick, who by now are emerging as Philosophy stalwarts, and our ‘yoof’ policy continues to bear fruit with Alfie making up the quintet. At just 13, is he the youngest ever player to turn out in Philosophy red?
The first third is a patient footballing rendition of High Noon, as gunslingers shoot nervy glances at each other. Nick dons the gloves as the Red Men’s regular ’keeper Rob is still out of action. He saves well, almost nonchalantly, from an early attack by Athletico Asthetico. Duncan is once again proving to be a towering presence of brilliance in defence, ably supported by Mark, who is reading the game well and snuffing out attacks. Billy is lively and running around, controlling the ball beautifully and a constant threat to both goals. We score with a real beaut from Alfie, who chests the ball down, skips past an AA defender and slams the ball in the bottom corner, Sanchez-like … a proud moment for his old dad. At the end of the first third, PFFC are ahead, 1-1-0. Could it last?
As expected, the second third opens up slightly more like The Cannonball Run. Mark takes over in goal and produces a string of great saves, although he could do nothing about the one that just creeps past him having taking a wee deflection on it’s way. It’s 1-1-1 and it stays that way for the rest of the second third, with none of the three teams managing to gain an advantage during some frenetic goalmouth activity.
The final third moves into Lawless mode as all teams gang up against each other at any given moment. Billy scores against AA with a lovely pivot, dummy, double nay triple salchow and gooooooal! Duncan performs admirably in goal in this final third but once again our defences are breached and at the end, despite relentless activity around the Strategic goalmouth that bears little fruit, the final score is AA 2 – SO 1 – PFFC 2. Then the heavens open and we all rush to get away.
A good game in which PFFC deserved more than the final score provided. Onwards to April.