At the Co-op Sports Club this morning watching the Division 4 league fixture between Blue Room FC and Philharmonic FC. Both clubs were in their second season in Fylde Coast Sunday Football after first season disappointment. The Blue Room FC shipped 186 goals last season and were looking to tighten up.
Last season, the Blue Room FC were late entrants to the BFSFA and as the only remaining vacancy was in Division 3 that's where they were placed. Being a genuinley new team and with most of the players being new to 11 a side Sunday football the club unsurprisingly struggled. The final table was particularly eye watering as the Blue Room FC finished bottom with a record of P28 W1 D1 L26 F20 A186 GD-166 Pts 4. However, and unlike many teams in far more preferable positions, the team stuck together and they're back for another crack at it in 2011/12. Now in the more appropriate position of Division 4 they're playing out of their own ground at the Co-op Sports Club in Marton/Clifton. After two games they only need one more point to equal last season's total after having had one win and one defeat. They beat Fylde Coast Vets 4-1 at Stanley Park to record their first ever away win but lost 5-0 to early season relegation favourites Thatched FC 5-0. Ian Jones' side also made it through the Gledhill Cup preliminary Round 1 after beating Berry's Beds FC 3-2 after extra time to set up a second round tie against the Sun Inn FC.
This morning's visitors were Philharmonic FC. The name of the famous town centre working mens' club has long been associated with Fylde Coast Sunday football but this is a new team that entered the BFSFA last season. Similarly to the Blue Room FC the club struggled as they went on to finish thirteenth out of fifteen in Division 4 mustering only five wins and six draws in the league all season. This morning's early season league table had Glynn Shorrock's squad in sixth position after having won two and lost two of their opening four fixtures. The club have also been finding the net having scored nineteen goals in those first four games. After receiving a bye in Round 1 of the Gledhill Cup the club face a winnable home tie against the Bispham Hotel FC of Division 3.
Bright and breezy at the Co-op Club this morning. The Blue Room FC are the latest in a long line of clubs who have been tempted to set up base at the Co-op club. They say the best time to sell your house is in summer when the garden's looking nice and at this time of the year with blue skies, new nets and a decent surface things look great. On the downside, club's based here have to maintain the pitch themselves and that includes marking out the pitch and cutting the grass which is a long and difficult job with Grandad's Flymo and a 50 foot extension lead. In addition, it becomes a bit of a bog in the depths of winter and you lose countless footballs in the gardens of the neighbours who are not quick to throw them back due to foul mouthed Sunday footballers spoiling their peaceful Sunnday mornings but good luck to them. Today's referee was veteran official Ricky Parr. The Blue Room FC kicked off. The Philharmonic were in the puke inducing school custard looking kit.
The Blue Room FC 2011/12
Philharmonic FC 2011/12
Young Philly supporters prior to kick off.
Captains Damian Dinsmore (Left) and Stuart Diggle alongside referee Rick Parr.
A minutes silence was observed prior to kick off in memory of Tony Dickinson (Ex BFSFA Treasurer and Norcross & Warbreck FC official)
We're underway. Magnificent big skies over the Fylde this morning.
Elmo on the ball for the custards
Referee Rick Parr.
Eight minutes in and Philharmonic took the lead. A cross from the right was missed by two defenders resulting in the ball falling to the prolific Dinsmore who despatched it with ease. 0-1
Punched over by the Philly keeper
Ex Premier Division player and ageing local rocker Tony 'Tosh' Swallow
On 21 minutes Swallow (Far right) equalised for the home side. A ball was played to his feet, he faked right, moved it onto his left and in the above picture bent it beyond the grasp of the keeper into the bottom corner. 1-1
The Philharmonic regained the lead ten minutes later. A Blue Room attack broke down on the edge of the opposition area. A long ball upfield wasn't dealt with and after some nuisance work from Dinsmore the ball fell kindly for Palfrey who found the net from the angle. 1-2
Four minutes later the Blue Room FC forced a couple of corners and equalised from the second. The corner comes over
It's only half cleared
and skipper Stuart Diggle smashes it home. 2-2
Half time score : The Blue Room FC 2 – 2 Philharmonic FC
Thirsty work in the late summer sunshine as Elmo refuels at the interval.
The second half is underway
Six minutes in and with the Blue Room kicking into the stiff breeze they went ahead for the first time. Prem class told as quality players Swallow and Diggle passed it through the Philly defence before Swallow beat the keeper for his second.
Still got it
Grass burn – Shorrock applies the magic spray.
The Philly keeper has his eye fixed firmly on the ball
On 57 a Blue Room throw from the half way line was poorly defended. Swallow was put through and his first time pass across the box with the outside of his boot fell perfectly for Stuart Bunn (9) who won the race to dink it into the net. 4-2. Three minutes later a long ball down the right found Swallow, after a breather he still has a bit of space and this combined with good body strength allowed him to run away from his marker, draw the keeper and score his third. 5-2
After a spell looking dazed on the ropes the Philharmonic scored a goal back from a corner. Matt Lomasko with the goal. 5-3
The initial comeback was short lived. The Philly tried but failed to play the offside trap from a Diggle free kick. Daz Elwell (17) timed his run perfectly, controlled it and coolly beat the keeper. 6-3
81 minutes and it was 7-3. A corner found Elwell on the edge of the box and his low drive found the bottom corner.
A bad miss from Swallow made all the worse as the Philharmonic broke quickly down the other end and scored through Palfrey. 7-4
Almost the last kick of the match and what a good one it was as Johnny Moorhouse blasted a 25 yard free kick directly into the bottom corner. 7-5 and that's how it finished.
Final score : The Blue Room FC 7 – 5 Philharmonic FC
In summary this was a hugely entertaining fixture for the neutral. Goals were predicted and the crowd was not disappointed although both managers will be far from happy at the standard of defending. The acquistion by the Blue Room of experienced players Swallow and Diggle has greatly improved their side and the former dominated the game from start to finish with three goals and countless assists. The Philharmonic look good going forward and it's of little surprise that they're scoring lots of goals early season but manager Shorrock was furious to see his side score five yet lose. Both teams were hopeless defending the quick break and on reflection will have to do a lot better at the back if they're to challenge for a top four place. Well officiated by Mr Parr.