The Classics made their debut on their new plush field in Cloverdale and their visitors for the occasion were the old foe, BC Transit. Danny Jensen was also making his debut in an injury hit Classics team. It started off well enough with the home side doing all the pressing and Transit having to weather the onslaught. The Classics took a deserved lead as early as the seventh minute after Chris Arcari robbed the ball of ex-Classics player Gordie Robertson. The ball arrived at Robertson's feet after a clearance from his keeper but Gordie was slow to react. I don't want to labour the point but I've seen milk turn quicker! Arcari stole in like a pickpocket, took the ball, and set off for the net. The keeper came out to narrow the angle but Arcari delicately chipped the ball over his advance to put the Classics one goal to the good.
Jensen was having a great debut in the heart of the defence and was laying some inch perfect passes through to the midfield at every available opportunity. The midfield were working their socks off and the forwards were doing their best to increase the lead but too many chances were going begging. Billy Ranger had returned from an absence but didn't last too long as he was forced to retire after 15 minutes with a recurrence of his back injury. Ray Marrington had been pushed up as a makeshift centre-forward and was doing lots of huffing and puffing without causing any real damage as the Transit defence had set their stall out well to counter the attacks of the Classics.
The lead was pegged back in the 20th. minute after a left wing run by the Transit left winger, affectionately known by his peers as Harry, Harry Harry. Harry skipped around Dave Moore, who had inadvertently slipped whilst accustoming himself with the new turf, just outside the box and ran in towards Garry Hackel in the Classics goal. As Hackel was advancing, Harry though to himself, "I'm going to get pummelled here," so he decided to toe punt the ball and make a quick exit stage left. Unfortunately for the home side the ball rocketted into the net for the equaliser. When Harry had reached the centre circle he was told that he had scored.
It went from bad to worse ten minutes later when the static Classics defence allowed another penetration of their usually impenetrable barrier. A Transit player was left totally unattended to run into the box and put the visitors in front while the Classics defenders were having a nice game of statues. The score remained at 1-2 at the half.
Try as they may in the second half the Classics could not find the killer instinct to kill off the visitors. The play was invariably down in the Transit end and chance after chance fell to the Classics. They were all squandered. Bruce Cook had enough chances to make him the leading goalscorer of the team for the next three seasons but he missed them all. It was one of those days when the Classics were never going to score. Had they remained on the field till Tuesday, and Transit had gone home, they would still not have scored. Transit played a smart game and allowed the Classics to look like they were dominating the proceedings but they were building their own confidence as every chance went begging. Hackel suffered an injury in the second half which resulted in a Classics player having to visit the hospital after the whistle for the second week in succession. The outcome of the injury was a torn muscle in his arm, but the good news is that he should be fit for the next game.
One has to go back to the summer season of 2001 to when Transit last beat the Classics in a competitive game. That encounter was a 2-0 victory for them on the atrocious Jessie Lee Elementary School at White Rock. So the bragging rights go to Transit after this very entertaining game, a game which was commented upon by visiting supporters as "a great over 40's clash". Testament to both teams. The Classics have now played three games in their new green shirts and have not won. Is it a curse? One thing is for sure - "Come on You Greens" doesn't quite have the same ring to it does it?
Now for the very bad news. Rick Geary had gone out of his way to ensure that the BBQ was available for the after game festivities. He even bought a new sparker and tongs (or are they called prawns!) but Alfie Deglan and Chris Arcari failed to come up with the goods as promised. Deglan had the buns all ready for consumption but Arcari let down his team-mates by failing to bring the krankers. It was a complete embarrassment as the whole of the Classics team had to go 'cap in hand' to sponge off the highly organised Transit team who even went out to Safeway to buy extra hot dogs for their hosts. They even brought in the famous Scottish guest chef, Jimmy Oliver to prepare the feast. At a post-game extraordinary meeting of the disclipinary committee it was decided to ban Arcari for the next game - Arcari will not play on Thanksgiving weekend.
Final Score 1-2 (1-2)
You were crap award: B. Cook