White Rocky Horror Show.....
You must have heard the one where a spectator went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out, well, this is the story of spectators who went to watch a football game and an NBA furious finish broke out. The first half was very much run-of-the-mill stuff with the Classics coming in at the break with a 2-1 lead, but the second half was something else. It all began when Gordie Macklin showed up to get changed and someone asked him if he was okay, to which he responded, "I think I've pulled a muscle." One wag responded, "I hope it's in his mouth!" The first goal came after about 10 minutes after some excellent work from Bryan Griffiths released Macklin who shot a rocket, from about 30 yards, into the top left triangle of the goalposts. United equalised after the centre-backs got in each other's way and a forward was left one-on-one with Dave Moore who made a valiant attempt to save with his leg but the ball deflected along the ground and into the net. There was a strong suspicion that the attacking man had held both the centre backs on his run but the claim was rejected by the referee. Moore was very disappointed that the shut-out had gone.
Warren Crowley rose at the far post in an attempt to head the ball home after a high ball came over and he ended up on the ground with the keeper. The referee penalised W. Crowley for the challenge although he had every right to make a play for the ball. The second goal came after Macklin passed the ball on to Will Dixon who flicked it on to W. Crowley who made the job look simple although he showed some clever control and fancy footwork before tapping tha ball over the line. Alan Massender, making his 100th. appearance, had to leave the field through injury near the end of the half. The comic moment of the day happened just before half time and there wasn't a Classics player involved. The home keeper, Walt Beukers, went to retrieve the ball from the skate park and fell over and couldn't get out; he will if future be known as the silver surfer. As the teams took a rest for half time, nobody was expecting the excitement that was about to transpire when the second half got under way.
United scored a great equaliser from a free-kick, given away by Randy Hosler, on the edge of the 18-yard box. The ball was hit with power over the defensive wall and, although Moore got a hand to it, it was knocked up onto the underside of the bar and unfortunately bounced back down on the wrong side of the line for the Classics liking. 2-2. Rick Geary took to the field in the unfamiliar role of centre-forward. He had been fussing about with his spectacles all the way through half-time and admitted that he couldn't see the ball if he played at centre-back, but he could play centre-forward because you don't need good eyes to play in the forward line. He had an early attempt on goal but he didn't see the ball resting on his knee and allowed the keeper to retrieve it from him. However, a few minutes later, a free kick by Hosler was floated over and Geary brought it under sufficient control to blast the ball into the top left hand corner from close range.
At 3-2 it should have been all over but United mounted another attack which caused confusion in the Classics back line. With Chris Arcari and Hosler both vying for the ball, the keeper came out hoping for a head back into his hands. However, the ball fell loose and an attacker stroked a low shot home into the unguarded net. The keeper should take some of the blame for his inadequacies. 3-3 and game on. The Classics fan club (hashtag #1fans) were doing their best to support all the players with comments like, "Come on dad," but it wasn't having the desired effect. Watching the Classics at that point of the game was like watching Manchester United play - yes, it really was that bad! And it was about to get worse. Another United attack resulted in Moore tipping a long range effort over the crossbar for a corner but the resultant kick was to have repercussions as the corner, hit with some power, deceived all the defenders and sneaked into the net without being touched. The keeper accepts full responsibility for allowing the goal and fully exonerates the remainder of the team from any blame. United were in front at 4-3 for the first time in the game.
Now was the time to test the mettle and find the true character of the Classics. Macklin had been chomping at the bit on the sideline and when Jim Eden put on his 'secret weapon' he didn't disappoint. He put in a good shift as he ran about like a man possessed. The rest of the team did not abandon the task in hand (or should that be foot?) either. Robbie Keam made a smart move down the right wing and crossed a superb centre to the feet of Pat O'Krane who simply "just kicked it in" to put the Classics level. The pressure was on now and Gene Crowley got into the attacking action when he started a smart move which involved Keam. Keam put an initial shot in on the keeper which was fumbled out to Lawrie, making his 50th. appearance, who picked up the rebound to make it a more comfortable 5-4. United had been playing wasting tactics with ten minutes to go, but after the fifth Classics goal they appeared to speed things up slightly.
The Classics had gone from a possible defeat to edge their noses back in front. Could they put the icing on the cake? Yes they could. Lorenzo Arcari finished off another great piece of interplay with Lawrie which brought a resounding rocket-like strike into the bottom left corner of the net which gave the home keeper no chance at all. The goal completed a resounding fight-back against a well organised opposition which made all the preceeding anxiety pale into insignificance. In fact, at the end of the game, most players were happy with the way the game panned out as it gave the fans something to cheer on another cold, damp and dismal trip to Aldergrove. Why does it always rain there?
After match discussion brought a request to send Jethro a different match report which was considered but, then again, it was decided that he probably couldn't have saved any of the goals anyway. The official team photographer, Tony Short, played a blinder and took some great shots of the game before he realised that he didn't have his battery in; he shall henceforth be known as 'Torchy' the battery boy. The phone tree was discussed in depth after the match and it was initially thought that Lawrie should be in charge of it as he already has several branches to his business. Upon consideration, it was decided that it would be felled as there were no roots in the foundation of the idea. We will be leaving the idea for now and will ring round if the team is sapping. Whoever writes this stuff must be barking mad! The final word must go as praise to coach Jim Eden. He hasn't suffered so much for so long by so few etc. By the end of the game he was out of cigars and his fingernails were almost down to the bone but he still bought a round for the team. What a trooper!
GK: D. Moore
MWG: D. Lawrie
Yellow Card: R. Hosler
Crap Award: D. Moore