Home cup match played on 29 October 2011.
Kicked off at 2:00 PM

The cup brought a welcome distraction to the PPR contingent, following a second successive league defeat the previous week – the worst run in PPR’s history – providing a perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.


Another fine Autumn Saturday saw the visit of Fanatics FC, flying high and undefeated in the division below but struggling in the cup, to fortress Regent’s. The match also provided a tasty subplot, with PPR non-core Alderson having had a 3 year spell with the Wandsworth visitors. Rumours were rife as to the reasons for his shock summer departure. Some say it was because he was getting down and dirty with the Chairman’s wife, while others pointed to the fact that he had a round trip of about 3 fucking hours for home fucking games to be sometimes met with the news that the Fanatics only had 9 fucking players… As the Fanatics didn't have a chairman, many argued that the later was the most likely.


But he would have to wait till he faced his former teammates as PPR fielded a strong starting core 11.

The opening 20 minutes were a tense and cagey affair – like boxers sparring, neither team willing to take a risk. As a result chances were few and far and between, the first one of note falling to the Fanatics from what turned out to be their only source of attack. A Rory Delap-esque throw into the box seemed to cause panic for PPR, but luckily the Fanatics attack were equally surprised and were unable to take advantage.


This seemed to give PPR kick-start they required and they began to ply the sort of football that has had fans and pundits drooling.  Jacko provided the heartbeat of the game with simple but effective football, aided by the tough tackling Gomme in the centre of the park. The front two of Byrnie and Tricky held the ball up magnificently, while Ween and Baker meant the Fanatic full-backs barely had time to think or play their football and allowed the marauding Carsten and Phil to drive down the channels. Havers and Nils provided the metaphorical wall that the Fanatics simply were not able to get around.


It was 35 minutes when the PPR pressure finally told, the Fanatics defence unable to deal with a direct attack led by the energetic Tricky, fouling him on the edge of the box. The prolific Byrnie stepped up to take the free-kick with an air of confidence meaning there could be only one result – that result being a goal. And so it was, low, hard and precise, providing the keeper with little chance. 1-0 PPR. And this is how it finished going into the break.


PPR started the second half in much the same fashion, mopping up the long throw ins from the Fanatics, while Byrnie and Tricky continued to link up at the top. Baker, making his last appearance before his scouting trip to Cambodia, once again put his body on the line. Unfortunately, come the 55th minute his body could take no more. This was the moment for Alderson to come face-to-face with his former teammates, and on he came on to a chorus of jeers and boos, which was strange as it was a home game. Seconds later, a throw in on the left saw the ball whipped in to Tricky who cushioned a header back to Alderson, striking first time from the edge of the box to put PPR into a deserved 2-0 lead. Alderson respectively decided against his trademark triple somersault with half twist for more subdued celebrations.


So, that was it. Job done, game over. Or was it? No it wasn't. Well not yet anyway.

Out of nowhere and with the sort of determination and drive that saw Fanatics pick up silverware last season, they fought back.


5 minutes after going 2 behind, the Fanatics won a free-kick on the edge of the area when Carsten was cruelly adjudged to have handled a cross field ball. Up stepped the Fanatics midfielder who whipped an inch perfect free-kick into the top corner, leaving Murdock with no chance. Another 4 frantic minutes later, in which saw Gommey launch the Fanatics left back several feet in the air, it was 2-2. Jacko bringing down a Fanatics midfielder in the area, the penalty despatched emphatically.


Had PPR thrown the game away? Not on your nelly. With the introduction of Chris replacing Nils, who like Baker had run himself into the ground for the cause, PPR clearly had another gear to go into, and this gear wasn’t reverse. It was another gear, 6th probably.


More tricky footwork down the left from Byrnie (who had swapped up top with Ween) saw him whip in a vicious cross to the near post. Under pressure from Tricky, and perhaps having watched Havers oggy the week before on You Tube, the Fanatics centre-back was helpless as his attempted clearance nestled in the back of his own net. PPR smelt blood and 5 minutes later the game was indeed over. A quick corner routine, as conjured up by Carsten in the changing room, saw Ween and Byrne exchange passes before Ween unleashed an unstoppable cross/shot that was stopped by the Fanatics defenders hands 3 yards away. The Fanatic bench and management were up in arms. Was it a penalty? Yes, the referee said so, so it was. Ween ignored the commotion going on around him and stepped up to coolly slot home into the bottom left. 4-2 and game over.


PPR had seen off the brave fight back attempt and are now only a point from securing a spot in the next round of the cup.


Once again, The Owl flies high above Regent’s Park.


MOM: Jacko for tireless work in the centre of the park.

DOD: Jacko who looked tired when giving away a penalty when the player was going away from goal.

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