Last night Centaurs Turf City witnessed the first clash of Season 23 featuring PMFC, the perennial midweek underachievers versus The Vikings, the Nordic gods and last Seasons Div 2 Champions. There was optimism in the Purple camp, a renewed sense of purpose and drive that comes with the start of a season and brand spanking new balls. This will be our season, this is where the Frankenstein team put together with the body parts of Cosmo, Banters, MOF and EFL PMFC players will finally deliver. A rousing pre-match speech by the manager inspired the team and within minutes we got the start we needed. Joe Glass Sanderson, the assister to the assisters, intercepted a loose Vikings pass and played a smart through ball for Thullier, who smashed home to give us a 1-0 lead. The next 30min the game was pretty even with no team really taking the initiative or having clear cut chances. Around the 35thmin mark, we got the second goal after some great work by MikeNick on the wing who after a darting run into the box unselfishly passed to Addy who was left with an easy tap-in to make it 2-0. It was during the HT break we found out the Vikings were on a 19 match unbeaten run and inevitably proceed to give ourselves the kiss of death.
Within 10min of the restart the Vikings reduced the deficit to 2-1. We made 3 or 4 challenges leading up to it, but the ball seemed to fortunately bounce back to a Viking player after each tackle. Sensing blood and the opportunity to get their Div 1 season off to a flying start after pillaging through Div 2, the Vikings went all out looking for the equaliser. Lady luck was spreading wide for the Vikings, and after a freak shin/foot/clearance by Capt Harry the ball found its way to a Viking on the edge of the box whose following cross somehow unintentionally ended up in the back of our net.
At this point it was anyone’s game. The Heathen Army continued to press without creating much while we on the other hand had quite a few opportunities to take all three points. Polo hurriedly sliced a volley from 5m out, while Rhys’s shot was cleared off the line by another one of Ragnar Lothbroks descendants. We were also guilty of bad decision making in the final third of the pitch, often hurrying with passes or crosses when easier options were available closer to hand. In the last 10min, there was also time for a bit of drama with a sending off for both us and the Vikings after a bit of gentle pushing. Considering it was both their first incident in the match, the overall feeling was the ref was too harsh with immediately brandishing the red cards.
All in all, the feeling after the match was 2 points dropped. Best of luck to the Vikings, who will cause quite a few problems this season.