Priory Park Rangers were victorious as they returned to domestic league action hosting Red Bee Media at the Owl’s Nest. PPR extended their previous six games unbeaten run as they maintain in contention of a league challenge by cementing three points against bottom of the table Red Bee.
Gaffer Tomkins Snr stuck to his newly favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. Team selection saw the inform James Clayton Flynn rested and Team Captain Jackson slot back into the centre of midfield on his return. Further noteworthy returns to the starting lineup also for Jonny Richardson and Phillip Russell Allan. One absence leaving the PPR hordes bewildered however was the consecutive nonappearance of effervescent Owly whom the crowds were hoping to bring them warmth and distraction from the sharp winter weather in his usual special way. It is believe Owly has flown over to Africa to conduct charitable work in preparation for Xmas for those less fortunate however rumours are strong that he should be back in time for the PPR Xmas bash.
Match build up saw a new addition to the ever-growing accessory bag of Billion Dollar Barnes, the said piece of equipment being the induction of alice band to the PPR changing room. The controversial piece of equipment’s introduction would have been met with an apprehensive and unnerving reception from any other player with the exception of BDB. On inspection of football conditions: minimal chance of rain, low humidity and a minor south-easterly breeze weather conditions for Barnes hair were deemed favourable for fans unrestricted view of his face therefore deemed not required.
During the Textbook Jackson pre-match warm up, questions started to be sounded, as there was no sign or contact with Neil PPR’s invaluable first choice keeper. As kickoff loomed a decision was going to be made by the Gaffer on a suitable replacement however before this was even necessary the valiant Desforges offered his services in the name of the greater good.
As the match kicked off PPR were slow out of the starting blocks that saw them invite early pressure on the defensive line, however none that proved telling as the defence cleared their lines with ease Dan Gomme winning close to all aerial balls the entire game.
In early stages of the game the PPR formation was a little fragmented and it took a while for the team to settle but upon finding their rhythm they had control of the game to the final whistle.
An early PPR chance saw a clearance from Tomkins falling into the stride Byrney who managed to find some space behind the Red Bee backline. Quick thinking Byrne attempted a trademark lob over the on rushing Red Bee keeper but saw his effort go narrowly over the bar.
Red Bee put up much resolve in the first half proving to be no pushovers but failing to create any substantial chances. Any problems to the PPR backline were created by the opposition’s tricky number 12. The player in question being brought down on the edge of the box, the resulting free kick being Red Bee’s best chance of the first half in which PPRs wall seemed to disintegrate but did not trouble the stand in keeper.
Jonny had another good chance of the first half being put through by Byrne but did not seem to be able to get the ball out of his feet quick enough seeing his shot knocked onto the post by a defender.
Strong challenges reined throughout the first half the fiercest of which was a powerful tackle from Phillip Russell Allan on the Red Bee right-winger resulting in a suspected broken foot and the player needing to leave the field with no replacement. Phillip Russell Allan’s strong challenges come as no surprise to the PPR faithful however for onlookers his deceptive feeble frame is likely to mask the ferocity he can unleash in his challenges.
From the few seconds left at the end of the first half PPR were awarded a free kick which Byrne continued to dispatch to the top right hand corner on the stroke of half time. 1-0 PPR.
A minute into the second half saw the arrival of the PPR keeper to the side-lines due to the reason of and episode of random involuntary narcolepsy. On forty nine minutes Neil was introduced at the expense of Byrney allowing Deforges to take his place in attack and on
introduction to the outfield an early opening saw Tricky have a strike incorrectly ruled out for offside.
Strong challenges continued into the second half being dispensed on regular occasions by the PPR captain and orchestrator Graham Jackson that saw him pick up a yellow card for a snappy challenge on the Red Bee left-winger. A steady display by Jackson in the centre of midfield alongside a new partner this week in Matthew ‘Ween’ Green.
In this newly adopted position ‘Ween’ took a while to get into the game along with Jonny however in the second half the match saw another confident attacking performance by the pair. With the ever threatening Barnes and Meddings as outlets the midfield was brimming with positive intent and attacking verve that provided a whole host of chances in the second half.
A Tricky cross from the left flank dummied by Meddings fell to Barnes finding himself free on the a right hand side of the box saw his shot saved by the keeper onto the post in a very good opportunity. Another good chance was missed my Meddings who failed to connect cleanly from a flick on by Tricky across the six yard box the effort falling into the keepers hands.
Moments later PPR doubled their lead with a quick break down the wing from Barnes who crossed to Meddings who knocked down a trademark header into the path of the oncoming Deforges who cleanly slotted home on 67 min. 2-0.
Numbers and superiority told further with more good approach play from PPR ending with Jonny curling shot to the keepers bottom left who did well to turn it around the post.
Red Bee went down further numbers to nine men after the Red Bee number three received ball trauma and could not continue.
Substitutions in the second half saw Flynn on for Jackson and Goddard replace Meddings. The subs having further impact on the game as PPR remained to be encamped in opposition half. The third and fourth goal duly followed. Composed hold up play by Barnes in the box passed onto the awaiting Baker who finished neatly high to the keeper’s right. Flynn rounded off a fine afternoons work for PPR with a methodically guided finish, which was the pick of the PPR goals after some great approach play down the right hand wing by Goddard and Tricky.
Taints on the day were booking picked up by Flynn for a petulant kicking away of the ball after the whistle and Tomkins receiving his marching orders on 86 minutes for a strong late challenge deemed noteworthy of a straight red. The aggrieved rotund Red Bee keeper may have had influence over the decision of the Referee who was very vocal in his reaction.
Notable performances recognised by team from: Baker showing another reliable outing filling in at right back, Phillip Russell Allan being ever vocal in the defensive line with strong challenges and rare forays into the opposition half. However major commendations deservedly recognised by the team in the post-match award ceremonies went to Desforges for his selfless attitude, calm and collected displays at both ends of the pitch and impressive stats of clean sheet, assist and goal to add to his tallies.
The defeat keeps Red Bee rooted to the bottom of the league table without a point but more prominently this takes the PPR unbeaten streak to seven games hauling and impressive thirty one goals. The recent form in defence has also seen PPR backline keep three clean sheets in the last three successive games. This takes PPR into the final game of 2011 against Wogm FC leaving them six points behind top-placed MEA with two games in hand full of confidence.
As the sun set over the picturesque Owl’s Nest anticipation builds for the defining game of 2011.
An old fashioned English centre forward with a twist. Selflessly standing in as reserve keeper. Clinical in attack. A clean sheet, assist and goal to boot sees Richard 'Tricky' Desforges throw down a worth challenge to David Goddard as PPR's Top Utility Player. Though he probably wouldn't like to hear you say that. Modest as he is.