Following the success of the Deptford X tournament, the three local teams, New X Irregulars, D3FC and Polscy Budowlancy, have committed to playing every fortnight on Sunday afternoons at 2.00pm. We have also decided on a permanent move from Deptford Park to the new Deptford Green on Fordham Park. Whether this will be three a side or six a side only time will tell.
The resurrection of Deptford Green is a welcome new addition to Deptford’s collection of open spaces. The original Green, located a good mile away, lead from St Nick’s parish church up to the banks of the Thames. It was the common ground at centre of the original fishing village where nets would be laid out for repair and animals grazed. The precise location and size of the Green shifted as Deptford was transformed into the industrial powerhouse that built the Royal Navy and by the mid 19th Century it had ben constricted to a wide thoroughfare surrounded by terraced houses. In the early 20th century the entire area was flattened and the Green remained only in memory and as the name of a road running through the LCC housing estate which replaced it. There is an excellent account of early Deptford here: http://www.olddeptfordhistory.com/2012/05/lost-village-center-of-deptford.html
With the creation of the new Deptford Green School at the top of Fordham park the Green is back, for high above the new school, 10 ft high letters now proudly proclaim DEPTFORD GREEN. This is our new den – “The Deptford Green Hexagon” at Fordham Park.
Despite the enthusiasm generated by the tournament, attendance at the end of the holidays was limited and a training session seemed to be on the cards. However, the fortunate arrival of two groups of casual park players down for a kick around permitted a four a side game and we elected to play rush goalies with 15 minute rotations. With half the players being new to the game (and divided up between the three teams) tactical coherence was a little patchy to begin with and all three teams started out playing individually – without proper thought to the alliances necessary for smooth play. The early pace was also hard to maintain in the bright sunshine but this helped the young legs of the blue team quickly draw out a lead of 3.1.0. Motivation for joining forces now came into play and the red and yellow teams at last found out the benefits of the two to one advantage, shooting past the blue goal to bring their early lead to a close. Picking up fast, blue and red now joined and turned on yellow to close the 1st at 3.2.1.
The middle of the game saw much of the same. The red and blue alliance stayed firm and it seemed as though a compact had been subconsciously agreed upon to put yellow so far out of the game they could not make it back – allowing blue and red to settle the game between them in the third. Facing ten men all yellow could do was stem the flow. Three goals evenly spaced across the first ten minutes saw them languishing at 1.3.5 before their calls for unity brought the red team to heel.
In one off games it has long been understood by regular players that entering the third with a significant advantage is tantamount to suicide. The alliance between the two losing teams has to stay firm to level out and this unity is maintained once the levelling has occurred, continuing afterwards for the most part until the previous leaders begin to languish and it is usually then too late for a consequent reversal. A perfect start to the 3rd is to be just one goal ahead on the back of a running alliance.
Whether blue were aware of this, or simply complacent in the face of the red yellow link up which now followed, they let in two horrors in quick succession. The second thus ended 3.3.5. and the balancing which had fuelled the red yellow alliance was spent.
Final rotation saw blue and red stay level at 3 goals a piece with a trailing yellow not really knowing how to play it and just joining either red or blue as they sought to press an attack against each other. The yellow ambivalence was burst though by an almost casual goal against them – literally out of the blue – as a lone blue outfielder decided to turn the direction of play from a corner in the red end and rush full pelt to chip the yellow goalie. The last few minutes maintained the end to end play between the red and blue goal until – with the ten second timer counting down – the final blue attack collapsed and a combined red and yellow surge put the ball past a sprinting rush goalie.
3.4.6 Red victory.