Watford v PDFC – 8th January 2011


After a lengthy winter break, PDFC were back in league action in the first fixture of 2011 away on a mild Saturday morning in deepest Hertfordshire. PDFC were eager to continue the excellent spirit, fun and results of 2010. However, it was a challenge for many of the team making it to the game, reasons included mega (Hugh Heffner esque) parties till 6:30am, late night curries, the traditional hangover and of course the dreaded M25 ! Indeed the inconvenient closing of the later led to the team Atherton/Marsden + Basham having to tour round Hertfordshires many pretty market towns (Tommy now wants a penthouse flat in Harlow!) whilst Team Cracknall/Lockwoods and Candler were settling in nicely in there parking space on the M25 for hours and could not make it to the game at all cos of an accident (peaking at travelling 200m in 30 mins! – not bad if it was a weekday!) On another day, you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was a Top Gear challenge for PDFC to get to Watford.

Indeed the turmoil of Keane geting the sack had not only spilt over into PDFC travel plans, but had infected Watford also ! Some heavy rain pre match at Met Police FC led to the groundsman calling the fixture off due to a waterlogged pitch – though this was not confirmed until (some of) both teams had arrived. However, with some resourcefulness, Watford were able to find another venue and those players that had not gone missing in action since leaving home were able to convoy to the 3G pitch on the otherside of town.

With the M25 robbing PDFC of 4 players, an already threadbare squad (of now 7 players) was bolstered by 4 loan signings from a very generous and friendly Watford team. A quick change, minimal warm up and some brief introductions meant that the game kicked off at about 11am. The starting line up consisted of a Watford player in goal, Phil at right back, with Robbie (Ross’s mate) and loan signings from Watford at Centre and left back. In midfield, Adam was on the right with Ross providing balance down the left flank and ever dependable Martin and a Watford loan signing in the centre. Up front were Rob and Tommy. We even had a ref and 2 lino’s – organised !

Due to the circumstances – with a few players having to play out of position, and 5 making there PDFC debuts, it naturally took a while for PDFC to click. Watford started off the brighter of the 2 teams and it was clear they had a tricky left winger and a pacey forward. The first half an hour of the game was competitive, and pretty even with a Watford maybe slightly on top and they were able to test the keeper early on with a couple of long range shoots that were well saved. As the half moved on, PDFC confidence grew as we got used to each other and we were able to pass the ball round more fluently (sometimes !). It was clear that gaffer Beecroft had made some shrewd loan signings in the transfer window with Robbie and Alex (from Watford) looking solid at centre backs – just like the combo of Linighan and Youds. Further forward, a (Dalian Atkinsons braun over Jamie Peters speed) forward line of experienced goal poacher Rob and (defender turned attacker) Tommy began to hold the ball up well to bring the rest of the team into the game where possible !

Indeed, following some good back to goal work by Rob, the (fair) ref from Watford gave PDFC a free kick to the right of the centre of the penalty area after handball by a Watford defender. Up stepped a curry fuelled Martin to place an accurate free kick over the wall to the keepers right and put PDFC 1-0 up (fair point ob, he could have headed it away!) However, the lead was short lived as Watford were level about 5 minutes later. A corner by Watford was not cleared first time by PDFC and a Watford shot saw the ball agonisingly slowly dribble (at a pace similar to cars on the M25) over the line via the keepers hand, the post and anything else in the way that it could touch.

The even scoreline going into a welcomed break reflected the minimal difference between both teams – Watford having slightly more posession but not really creating that many clear cut chances whilst at the other end PDFC looked dangerous on occasions as well.

Half time : Watford 1 – PDFC 1

Some swaps by Watford during halftime allowed 2 further Watford players to make there debuts for PDFC. This led to more reschuffling by manager Martin with Adam moving into centre midfield and different Hornets playing at left back and right midfield.

The second half continued in the fair spirited / committed nature of the first, with some even play from both teams in either keeping the ball for a bit – or then giving it away to the opposition ! For PDFC, Martin made some dangerous dribbles into the Watford area whilst at the other end Watford were trying to get there fast forwards into the game. The contest looked like petering out into a draw, but with a few minutes left a neat bit of skill and turn by Tommy on the edge of the area led to a powerful shot being spilled by the Watford keeper – and an unmarked Rob was well placed 6 yards out to place the ball into the bottom right of the goal. This led to PDFC putting up a backs to the wall last 5 minutes and defending resoultly against increasing Watford pressure without to much goal mouth action. After a couple of minutes injury time, and a change of ref, the new ref blew up and an exhausted PDFC were able to revel in a smash and grab victory in this good natured contest !!

Full time : Watford 1 – PDFC 2.

In nets, thanks to the Watford keeper for helping us out and making some decent saves, Phil was again consistent at right back, with Robbie and Alex loking strong in the centre and the Watford left back being steady as well. In midfield, Ross put in some dangerous crosses – especially in the first half. In the centre, Martin and Adam gave lots of energy and the watford player on the right also looked dangerous going forward. Up front, Rob and Tommy done well holding the ball up and bring others into play, especially as the service to them was not always brilliant.

As ever, thanks to Shaun and everyone else for organinsing the team to ensure this game went ahead.

The next game is away in Sauf East London at Millwall next Saturday.

PDFC staring line up verses Watford was:
1. A keeper from Watford
2. Phil T
3. Left back from Watford
4. Pathos (Watford)
5. Alex (Watford)
6. Robbie Maynard
7. Adam Basham
8. Martin Beecroft
9. Rob Atherton
10.Tommy Marsden
11.Ross Geraghty
12. Right midfielder (Watford)
13. Matt (Watford)

Goals: 2 contrasting goals – a 25 yard free kick from Martin – and an Alex Mathie poachers finish from close in by Rob.

Upcoming PDFC fixtures: 15Th January Millwall Away

Upcoming PDFC Events: WorldNET 2011 – July 22/23/24 – speak to Martin if your not already down to play !

We also have a website, its at http://www.tractorboys.net/punch-drunk-fc/
The IFA website, our results and current league position can be found at: http://www.internetfootball.org.uk/

Categories : Punch Drunk FC


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