A fast paced, three a side spectacular of end to end play resulted in a high scoring 8.8.7 blue victory on an overcast and rainy morning.
The first rotation saw the score unevenly weighted at 3.3.0 to an opportunistic yellow strategy of one permanent defender and two roaming midfielders assisting the attacking team from the two opponents.
As was only to be expected, the second rotation saw yellow come under a concerted attack as the red and blue teams tried to even the game. Their potent alliance not only levelled the scores but quickly saw a further two put through the yellow goal to place the early leaders at a 3.3.5 disadvantage.
The alliance was brought to a swift conclusion towards the end of the second however as a cheeky pair of bluffs saw blue turn on the red goal in the middle of play, assisted on the second attempt by a relieved yellow outfield, to end the rotation with a blue lead of 5.5.3.
The final third commenced with no effective pairings and an anarchic five minutes of end to end play and tired legs saw an incredible eight goals conceded across the board to bring the game to 8.8.5 with only five minutes to play.
Sensing looming blue victory, red and yellow joined together to focus their attention on a blue trio now tightly packed in their own goal mouth. Despite constant pressure and two scrambled goal-line efforts, the blue team held on to their lead to take the game.
This was by far the most fluid and graceful of our games to date. The three a side variant, despite taking its toll on unaccustomed legs in a 30m sided hexagon, seems to benefit from better communication, allowing all the team members to understand the strategy of the moment. Five and six a side games have yet to reach the level of team consciousness necessary to prevent multiple strategies and alliances occurring at the same time.
A four a side game seems to offer a tantalising balance between the pros and cons of our variants to date. Let the experiment continue.
A host of new faces and balmy spring sunshine saw the third game of our three sided experiment finish 6 5 5.
With the blue team dominating early play to lead 3 2 0 an alliance between red and yellow quickly formed to claw back to 3 3 3 at the end of second rotation.
The arrival of fresh legged substitutes for both red and yellow saw the playing abilities of the three teams levelling out and alliances became hard to adhere.
The double bluff – which worked so well in the last game – was attempted on numerous occasions by all the teams. But with everyone being on guard for this type of play and with the inability of alliances to form and hold it failed to achieve the spectacular results of the previous game.
Tired legs and some excellent solo efforts from the various playmakers brought the game level again at 5 5 5 but with the minutes counting down to the end of the game a spontaneous unplanned fusion between red and yellow overwhelmed the blue goal.
With three games now completed an intriguing pattern has begun to emerge. A natural levelling tendency appears to exist in which, as one team begins to dominate, the other two naturally form alliances to bring the game back into balance. At no point has any merciless Darwinian tendency developed whereby two teams decide to monster the third and put a brace or two beyond them. But it’s still early days…..
A last minute goal mouth scramble saw the second of deptford’s three sided football experiments finish honours even with all the sixes, 6.6.6.
A six a side game of three twenty minute thirds between blue, red and grey saw an initially dominant grey team go too far in front at 5.5.2 – only to find themselves spending the final third against a united red and blue alliance.
Tactical variations were very much in evidence this time round, with two of the strategies producing significant results.
In the first third a disciplined blue formation concentrated on a three man defence rarely moving out of the D, with the three forwards allying themselves as one with either of the opposing teams. A first rotation score of 3.2.0 demonstrated the effectiveness of their play.
The second third saw a significant change in fortunes for blue however as, combined with the rotation of goalies – which saw the entry onto the field of a dominant grey playmaker – they faced a grey and red onslaught, shipping two goals in the first five minutes. Rapid diplomatic overtures to red appeared to have stemmed the breach in the blue goal but the emergence of a ‘double agent’ amongst the reds saw another three let in before the next rotation.
The double agent bluff was astonishingly effective and difficult to counter. A combined red and blue attack of upwards of all ten outfield players into the grey third placed grey under severe threat, but just as the focus was concentrated on the shot the red playmaker reversed direction and ran with the ball towards the blue goal, scoring with each of his three bluffs. Repeated attempts to explain that he was supposed to be in alliance with blue were met with understanding and apology – only for exactly the same scenario to occur. The psychogeographers amongst the teams were in awe of this situationist bravura.
As scores hit 5.5.2 early in the final third, the grey team sensed the tide was going to turn and with the double agent now brought back on side, a united red and blue alliance left them with little hope. Despite playing 5 against 10 and orchestrating a further goal against each of their opponents three were let in. As the minutes counted down it looked as if they were going to hold on for a magnificent win but a long cross to the far side post saw a tap in from red with only fifteen seconds of play remaining.
In comparison to our inaugural outing two weeks ago the unfolding of the game had moved in a noticeably different direction. Certain plays, almost always involving bluff and counter bluff, were being played out not only on the hoof but calculated in advance. The two sided mentality of a fortnight ago was evolving ……and the sporting monster we have chosen to ride is taking shape.
Post first match report.
I am very happy to say that the inaugural game went ahead and went very well. We kicked off with three a side and played three ten minute thirds with scores of 4:3:2. Only nine men on a full size 3SF pitch was a bit exhausting as there was much distance to cover but the forming and breaking of alliances which lie at the heart of the game were very much in evidence. It was fascinating to see how different the ownership of goals became though all of us clearly have the rules and tactics of traditional footie locked in our DNA. More games will clearly be necessary before the full essence of this amazing game begins to be properly experienced.
Deptford Park also houses two normal football pitches for traditional Saturday morning games and our activity generated much interest. After our short three sided game we were joined by players from the other pitches and proceeded to play another game but with five players per team over three twenty minute thirds with scores of 7:6:5. This was quite different in feel; much less exhausting and with fixed goalies and the exigencies of two sided soccer exerted themselves more noticeably. It was also clear that inter-team communication of shifting allegiances needed to be better explained as sometimes half of one team were playing with/for the second team while the other half were playing with the third. Very confusing…
All in all an excellent experience and everyone has committed to playing again. We have set up four more matches; March 10th & 24th and April 7th & 21st. Everyone welcome.