Purton play home games at The Redhouse Club perched on a hill to the South East of Purton village itself. The ground is part of a community sports complex that hosts bowls and tennis as well as football. The pitch sits below the level of the main facilities building and is accessed by the players via a small set of stairs which lead down next to the dugouts. There are no stands around the pitch but the elevated view from the level above the playing area is pretty good. Apart from a public toilet, there didn't appear to be any other facilities for spectators, which was a shame because I was looking forward to a cup of tea. Nevertheless. with the view looking out towards Cricklade and beyond, its a pleasant enough location to watch a game and, luckily, the torrential rain I had driven through on the way to the ground held off for the duration. The pitch, although pretty flat, looked like it could have done with a trim before the game.
The game had no real significance in terms of league positions for either club. Kintbury had already secured second place quite a few games previously. Purton, who were themselves on a good run of form, were secure in fifth and, although they could draw level with Melksham Town Reserves with a win, would need an enormous scoreline to overhaul them on goal difference.
There was, however, pride to play for. Back in November Kintbury had inflicted a 5-1 defeat on Purton in the reverse fixture with goals from Shaun Thorp (2), George Smith, Harry Way, and Fabio Pinto. A solitary William Backhouse goal being the response from Purton, who also had Callum Hall sent off for two yellow card ofences.
Having seen Kintbury play Wroughton only two days previously I could tell, even without team sheets, that this was a much changed Rangers line-up. Presumably, Purton had also noticed this and, as a consequence, went for it straight from the kick-off.
Within three minutes of the start, Purton took the lead. A swift break down the right was followed by a low cross which evaded all of the Kintbury defenders. Purton's George Drewitt had time to control the ball and pick his spot beating captain for the night Kyle Clough to make it 1-0.
Only three more minutes passed before the home side doubled their advantage. The entire Kintbury backline stopped, looking for an offside flag that never came. Daren Regis was left to waltz past the stranded Clough and roll the ball into an open net for 2-0.
Purton were now running riot. The Kintbury coaching team had already made some formation changes in an attempt to stem the red flow but their side looked disjointed with no real shape to them. With 20 minutes on the clock, Nathan Marland was set free down the exposed Kintbury right-flank before driving into the box and beating Clough with a low drive. 3-0
Whether, at this point, Purton took their foot off the gas a bit or, more likely, Kintbury's changed line-up finally started to gel a little, the initial rush of goals dried up. Kintbury's front two chased and harried whenever they could but were effectively feeding off scraps as the home side continued to control the game even if they didn't manage to add to their tally for the remainder of the half.
HT Purton 3 Kintbury Rangers 0. Rangers requiring something of a Champions League style comeback to get anything out of this game. Purton, to be fair, looked a good side and even though this was a final, dead rubber league game, were treating it like any other match.
Ten minutes into the second period they had a real opportunity to get back into the game but Charlie Alsop put the chance over the Purton bar. However, just before the hour mark, Rangers did manage to get on the scoresheet, George Smith beating the offside trap before rounding the keeper and sliding the ball home. 3-1. Could this be the start of another comeback?
Purton clearly wanted to kill off any hopes that Rangers may have been harbouring and immediately set about getting the three-goal lead back. Twice in quick succession, they tested Clough with the Rangers stopper producing vital saves on both occasions. Then it was back down the other end where a Rangers effort from just outside the box beat the Purton keeper only to rattle the bar and fly to safety. How that could have changed the outcome of the game if it had been 2 inches lower.
As it was, on 78 minutes, Clough had to be at his best again, producing a flying save to keep out another Purton effort. However, three minutes later as the clocked ticked to 81 minutes, there was absolutely nothing the keeper could do to prevent a blistering angled drive from Purton substitute Manuel Mesas flying into the far corner. 4-1
Then, to round the game off and give me an excuse for the terrible wordplay in the blog title (sorry, but it's the end of a long season of writing and it is a popular film at the moment), another substitute, Chris Avery, was set up with the reasonably simple task of slotting the ball home from 10 yards to make it 5-1
FT Purton 5 Kintbury Rangers 1. Retribution for the reverse fixture for Purton who finish the season in fifth place after a very good run of results that they will, no doubt, want to carry over into next term. Kintbury have second place and a Senior Cup in their trophy cabinet. Their patched together side, that looked completely bereft in the first half, gave a decent account of itself in the second 45 minutes.
Ground Number: 198