The game we'd all been waiting for produced the result we had all been hoping for. With Bobby and Ford unavailable and Liam and Tom returning from absence, the starting line up was pretty much a given.
The boys started strong with a flurry of shots. Stockport scrambling to keep the ball out of their goal. But they could do nothing about the first from Bulldogs, Will smashing home an absolute screamer from range. But celebrations were short lived as the boys switched off and PFA equalised just a minute later. Game on!
Some great attacked play on both wings from Freddie and Tyler were snubbed out by the PFA defence, but persistence paid dividends when a goal mouth scramble allowed a determined Freddie to slide in back post and slot home Bulldogs second.
Much like the first goal, the boys switched off and Tommy had to make a fantastic one on one save from an advancing Stockport player who skipped through the middle of the park. His save rebounded out to Freddie and the opposition keeper almost mirrored Tommy's heroics with a save of his own to deny a third before end of the first period. We could have had another through Aidan as he broke free from a Will pass, but ever the character he took his eye off the ball to look to the sideline to showboat and the chance went begging. ??
Aidan and Tyler gave way for Liam and Tom in the second period and both looked lively from the off. The boys looked aggressive and hungry, unfortunately a little too much so for the ref as he awarded a free kick which Stockport rattled the bar with. Instruction and encouragement from the sideline spurred the boys on as Will once again shot from range which deflected to a waiting Freddie to slot home for his second of the game.
A returning Tom got in on the act with a great left foot strike to take us to 4 goals on 22 minutes. But the concentration levels dropped again and PFA reacted with a second goal. The game was really heating up at this point.
PFA began to gain control, some good passing play led to a fantastic attacking play resulting in a brilliant double save by Tommy. The ball ricocheted out to Will who struck a sweet right foot only for the opposition to make great save of their own. This only seemed to fire Will up and the next chance fell to him from distance again and this time he smashed it home on 28 min. The second period wasn't over yet, Tom intercepted a loose ball, skipped past one to rifle home his second of the game and Bulldogs began to cruise.
Final 15 saw will and Freddie take well deserved rests for their outstanding work in the first to periods. Aidan and Tyler returned to the field and looked like they wanted to get in on the act. Tyler denied early on as PFA broke again and Tommy making another important one on one stop. Another needless niggle allowed Stockport a free kick opportunity which they dispatched with ease. They looked to be on the comeback and began to get more physical with little nips at Liam, who himself loves a scuffle. It was one of these PFA rash challenges that resulted in a free kick that allowed Liam to show his dead ball prowess smashing a screamer top corner and letting the offending PFA player know about it with his trademark insult 'Yoi Punk'! ??????
Shots wife from Tyler and Liam threatened and Aidan hit the post late on. But the damage had already been done. We had confidently and comprehensively beaten top of the league. A result the boys worked incredibly hard to achieve and one they should be incredibly proud of.