The date was set, January 21st 2012 a date soon to be etched in history. The mighty warriors from the infamous Priory Park Rangers where set to do battle once again.
This was set to be a huge test of courage and determination as the previous week’s battle had ended in bloodshed at the hands of Roger Rovers aka the barbarian horde. Surely only a brotherhood as tight as PPR could pull themselves back from the brink of destruction?
From the first charge it was obvious PPR were out for revenge, laying siege to the opposition's goal. PPR’s inspirational centre midfielder General Jacko was a welcome return, taking command of the middle of the park controlling the game brilliantly. Priory Park’s defensive alliance was truly inspirational, Bethnal Greens‘s forwards where cut down as they charged. And believe me the boy’s in blue took no prisoners.
Phil was solid as a rock on the left giving the opposition’s right flank no chance. Nills ensured the oppositions front line couldn't find their range, a true example of how to defend in the air. Gomme was on another level throwing himself in at the deep end causing the Greens serious frustrations. Chris Hunter was also back and in inspiring form showing the world what PPR are made of every time he was called upon.
You could feel PPR’s confidence growing. Last week’s disappointment a distant memory - Barnsey and Bernie started causing havoc among the oppositions defensive line opening up huge gaps for PPR’s midfield to exploit, surely they couldn't hold out any longer?
They couldn't. One perfectly waited cross from Jacko to pin point Baker in the box and that was enough to topple their defenses. Goal! The crowd went mental; some of them had to be dragged off the pitch, pure elation for the home side. 1-0.
PPR where to finish the half with what can only be described as the greatest free-kick of all time, far out weighting that of Roberto Carlos against Napoleon and his French army. The stunning (self-polished) left boot of Richard Desforges curled the ball around the left hand side of the wall to the keeper’s right - the force 9 gale had nothing to with it what so ever, it was just a moment of shear brilliance 2-0!
Come the 2nd half and PPR started with the same grit and determination as the first, the only problem being Bethnal Green had made a last minute substitution and brought on Mother Nature, and she was pissed.The wind had picked up to more like a storm force 10 and was causing real concern amongst the PPR ranks. The pressure was mounting, every attack from Bethnal Green was getting closer and closer. Surely the Rangers had to crack? Every clearance, every goal kick Mother nature threw straight back in their faces.
Its moment’s like these that sort the men from the boys, and my god did PPR come out as men. Standing side by side, brothers in arms the mighty PPR repelled attack after attack after attack, Terry Butcher would have been proud.
Priory Park stood firm until the 89th minute when the referee made an awful decision to award Benthnal Green a late penalty. The centre forward slotted the penalty home at a 120mph into the top right, which was a devastating blow to PPR as they had fought so valiantly to keep a clean sheet. 2-1 at the final whistle.
Inspirational performances from the boys with Gomme credited by the referee. Whilst the returning Irishman, Chris Hunter brought with him craft, reliability and much needed confidence - Man of the Match in the eyes of his comerades in what was surprisingly his first ever appearance at right-back.
More of the same next week lads!
Returning from his brief loan spell abroad, Hunter's relaxed nature on the ball was well suited to the grit of PPR's back line. Slotting in neatly to PPR's excellent back four on Saturday - a 2nd half that proved more a game of chess than game of football - Hunter shone on both flanks.