PPR made it eight games unbeaten as they returned from South London with a point after a hard fought 2-2 draw against strong outfit Wogm FC. Confidence was high among the squad after three convincing wins but Wogm would prove to be a step up in standard from previous weeks.
With a full squad of core players it was a troublesome week for manager Tomkins with selection headaches giving him many a sleepless night. His worries were eased slightly when player/coach Danny Baker was struck down with an aggressive case of the sniffles and was forced to take his place on the bench alongside Meddings, Tomkins Jnr, and the returning Owly. The PPR mascot has clearly been enjoying the festive season and by the looks of things had been feasting on a few too many mice in recent weeks, fatty (much like myself.)
The first half was frenetic with the pacey Wogm forwards causing issues for the recently water tight PPR back line of Allan, Havers, Gomme, and Tomkins Snr. Inspired by Havers, it was PPR's ginger baron, Matthew Green, who latched on to a delightful cross by the Wogm winger to coolly slot past his own keeper. If it weren't for the cat like reactions of Murdoch between the sticks and the fact that the referee failed to spot the ball cross the line PPR would have been a goal down early on. The defence continued to soak up the pressure aided by a man of the match performance from player/manager Tomkins Snr.
The end-to-end football continued throughout the first half with PPR denied two strong penalty appeals and the Wogm attack exposing PPR defensive frailties at times, none more so than those inside Phil Allan’s rather fragile psyche. After some commanding performances in recent weeks Phil showed worrying signs of mental relapse leaving the manager with no option than to substitute the broken shell of a ‘man’ for Meddings, who added an attacking dimension to the PPR defensive line.
Allan’s PPR team mates would later show no sympathy for his mental illness, voting him DoD. Although this proved to be premature as the Sunday papers would later reveal a more worthy candidate. During half time PPR Chairman and figurehead Tom ‘Billion Dollar’ Barnes is alleged to have applied performance enhancing hair spray. Speculation was rife that manager Tomkins would impose one of his infamous “general suspensions” for such an offense but all was quickly forgiven as it was unanimously agreed that Barnes’ glossy mane merely accentuated his stunning features.
PPR started the second half brightly with the engine room of Flynn, Green, Richardson and later Tomkins Jnr working hard to retain possession against tricky opponents and even trickier conditions. It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken when Byrne latched onto another Desforges assist to slot home from 18 yards. The lead was short lived however as Wogm soon hit back with a well taken solo effort from the right winger.
The game was then punctuated by nasty looking injury to the rotund Wogm right back whose shin bones seemed to buckle under his disgusting weight. Shortly after the restart the Wogm took the lead with a lucky cross that looped over the unfortunate Murdoch.
With little time left on the clock this would prove to be PPR’s biggest test of character to date, and they duly rose to the challenge. Byrne capped off a fine performance by putting in a low cross for the in-form Matt Green to poke the ball home from close range and claim a well-earned point for PPR. Another goal from the player who has undoubtedly been PPR’s player of the year so far and the perfect send of as he jets off to play in the African Cup of Nations for his native Niger.
The elder, and hairier of the Tomkins brotherhood, Carsten deservedly took MoM in PPR's 2011 finale. A record: 0 foul throws. 0 needless yellow cards, and most notably the ability to spark some motivation from Byrnie ahead of him on the right. No mean feat at all.