Valiant reds suffer bitter defeat
PFFC 0 Quinine 5
Philosophy Football returned to South Park but were unable to take advantage of the fact that they were playing at home, losing 0-5 to Quinine. Before the game, Andrea and Ally spoke of the commitment shown by the team in the past few weeks and how they had to leave some players at home due to the overwhelming response.
Quinine were going to be a tough opponent despite Philosophy beating them 7-0 earlier on in the season. With that in mind, Philosophy lined up in a 4-4-2 instead of their usual 4-2-3-1. Kadeem started in goal behind a back four consisting of Will, Damian, Andrea and Owen. Lawrence played on the right of midfield, with Angel on the left and Ally and Simon in the middle, and with Henry and Matt up front.
It was important that the Reds got off to good start but from the whistle Quinine pressured Philosophy and within a few minutes won a corner. The ball was whipped in and after a bit of confusion the ball fell to a Quinine midfielder who slotted the ball past a helpless Kadeem.
Quinine knew that they needed a second quickly and that's exactly what they got. With Philosophy still getting used to the new formation, the away side moved the ball quickly around the pitch and it fell to their striker just inside the box who coolly curled the ball around Kadeem to make it 2-0.
Things then got worse for the home side when Ally jumped up for a header and took a elbow to the head which ended his game and saw him taken to hospital. Thankfully he was later discharged with a clean bill of health. Philosophy were forced to use the subs' bench after only 15 minutes: Andrea brought on Mario for his first appearance of the season and pushed Will into the middle. Quinine were looking for revenge for the humiliating 7-0 defeat inflicted by the Thinkers earlier in the season, and looked to their striker and his pace to trouble the Philosophy defence. His close ball control and sharpness wreaked havoc all game and when he broke away down the right hand side of the pitch, he squared the ball perfectly across the goal for a Quinine midfielder to tap the ball into an empty net.
At half time Philosophy still believed that the game was still not over, and Andrea made a few changes. Owen, Lawrence and Angel were replaced with Leandro, Rob and James and the formation became a 3-4-3. This worked as Philosophy had a much better second half. Will, Simon and Rob got a stronger foot-hold in the game and moved the ball effectively between them. With the power of James up front and Henry and Matt dropping deeper the Quinine defence were at a loss as to who to mark, and found themselves on the back foot for large parts of the half.
However, with Philosophy having no full-backs, they knew they could stretch the pitch and their striker, ever willing to run into the channels, was always an option for them and reminded Philosophy they could still cause damage. That damage was caused midway through the second half when they won a corner and a Quinine defender majestically rose to head the ball past Kadeem, who found himself stuck in the middle of a bunch of players.
Even this fourth goal did not kill Philosophy’s spirit. The team kept getting the ball forward, and Henry had a number of half-chances but was unable to find the target. If it wasn’t for the fine reflexes of their goalkeeper James would have pulled a goal back. Despite the Philosophy defence keeping the Quinine striker quiet, he still saw enough of the ball to be a menace and when he broke the offside trap, he raced through on goal, rounded Kadeem with ease and finished expertly for his side’s fifth.
The men in red refused to give up and, when the final whistle blew, they were still pressing. Philosophy knew that they had been beaten by a stronger side but could be proud of the way they battled throughout. With their next match away to top of the table Arup, we will need a large squad to get anything from the game but with confidence in the team riding high, anything is possible.
PFFC (4-4-2): Kadeem; Will, Damian, Andrea, Owen (James 46'); Lawrence (Rob 46'), Simon, Ally (Mario 15'), Angel (Leandro 46'); Matt, Henry.