Following an excellent display on Saturday, Priory welcomed another new side to the league on the first bank holiday Monday game of the season – Weston Green Sports, who had been promoted from the Surrey South Eastern Combination league. They had started with two wins already and would prove to be a tough side to break down.
Team news: Rob Stratton had picked up a slight problem on Saturday so was unavailable for selection. He was replaced by Felipe Soares, making his first start of the season. Priory also welcomed back Rob Horan from injury and Jaime Philcox took his first place on the bench.
From the start, this match looked like it was going to be more of a battle than a spectacle and this wasn’t half wrong! Tackles flying in early doors, tempers flaring, all the ingredients for a tasty encounter. Unfortunately, some of the boys had left their bottle at home for this Monday and were comprehensively beaten by a Weston Green side who just wanted it more. It began as it ended with a mistake from the Priory backline. Following impressive displays from Davies and Beech at the weekend, they left their voices at home and collided with each other to let the striker through on goal and he made no mistake, sliding the ball past Travis into the empty net. As if that wasn’t enough of a wake-up call for this early kick-off, the same player was allowed to turn too easily on the by-line, bare down on goal and produce a finish into the top corner that left Purnell with no chance. 2-0 and staring at a heavy defeat if something didn’t change. Luckily, Priory saved their best football for the final 10 minutes of the half and after a few half chances, Priory hauled themselves back into the game. After excellent work by Stone, he lifted the ball to the back post where Soares was waiting to smash in a left footed half volley and score a debut goal for the Reigate side. Priory went into halftime second-best but buoyed by the goal close to half time.
In fairness to the lads, they did come out at the beginning of the second half and give it a good go but a combination of bad finishing and soppy defending meant that Priory would finish the game on the end of a 4-1 beating. Priory did not track the same midfield runner twice during the second half and he himself could not believe the time and space he was allowed to finish the game off and give Weston their 3rd straight win on the bounce. For Priory, it was back to the drawing board and a tough visit to Virginia Water in 5 days.
Squad: Purnell, Benson, G Davies, Beech, Doick, Beckett, Stone, Paddley (c), Hogg, Soares, Byrne, Fisher, Ndazi, Horan, Philcox