Chilliwack v Surrey Classics FC
Tzeachtes Park
11th. March 2007

Chilli whacked by the Dirty Dozen........

It was a long drive in pouring rain to Chilliwack to do battle with the team who inflicted a 1-2 defeat on the Classics in the first encounter at Cloverdale earlier in the season. When the team arrived at Tzeachtes Park they found it in remarkable playing condition considering the deluge that had poured down on it. The team was decimated with several players away again, including the goalkeeper and with Rick Geary and Fisher Crockett not wanting to play due to injuries, it would have meant the team starting with 10 men as Chas Jones did his usual "took the wrong turning" joke yet again, coincidentally on a day when Spurs were playing.

The defence was reshuffled to accommodate the apparent deficiencies with Geary and Bruce Cook starting as centre backs, Jim Eden and Larry Thorlakson as full backs, and Moore continuing the role as make-shift keeper. Chilliwack kicked off in heavy rain but the Classics took the early control. The heading should have read "Chilli whacked by the Dirty Dozen...and 90 second Geary" and could be misleading as Geary did play, albeit for 90 seconds. He had to limp off so Crockett limped on to replace him, such were the circumstances. Eden moved in to sweep behind Cook. However, the visitors took the lead in the 12th. minute and it was another Alfie Deglan special. It's getting to be a habit! The Classics had already had a few worthwhile attempts on goal and fortunately for the home team, their keeper was in fine form. He could do nothing with Deglan's shot though, as it powered over his head. He got his hands to the ball but could only parry it onto the underside of the bar and it bounced down over the line to the glee of the Classics players.

Chilliwack fought back and gave the Classics defence a few scarey moments, the worst being when they hit the upright from a close range header, although the post is "part of the equipment." It should have been another goal for the Classics after Jimmy Butler was brought down in the box after a scorching run and the referee pointed to the spot. With no-one willing to step up to the plate Chris Arcari took the kick but he placed it weakly to the right of the keeper who had a relatively easy task of saving it. It was Arcari's fourth penalty miss [*footnote]. It doesn't need a brain surgeon to notice that a pattern is emerging which can be stopped! It then came down to effort and the whole of the team (including Geary) gave their all for the cause and they left the field at half time 0-1 to the good, for a deserved rest and a few minutes to recharge the batteries.

The second half had to be another backs-to-the-wall campaign if the visitors were to come away from Chilliwack with anything to show for their efforts. They battled constantly and everyone played their part in harrassing, tackling, and generally frustrating the hosts. There were efforts at both ends and Deglan was unlucky when another power-house shot was headed off the line by the full back. Thorlakson must have been cursing his luck too when his effort, which was destined for the top corner, was acrobatically knocked away by the home keeper who seemed to have hands the size of shovels when he neeeded them. The only worthwhile efforts that the opposition could muster in the second half was an early shot which was directed straight at the keeper, and a corner aimed close to goal which was punched clear for a throw in by Moore as the waiting forwards were already starting to celebrate their equaliser.

Time was running out and the Classics resorted to all out defence with the occasional break away to the opposing corner flag, coupled with the sort of time-wasting which was irritating and understandable in equal measure to the hosts, but it got the job done. Credit must go to every player as they all played like heros. There were many tired legs at the end of the game but they are like war wounds - painful but worth it. It's unfair to name names - the whole team are to be commended after obtaining one of the outstanding results of the season.

[*footnote] Arcari afterwards divulged his tactical play of the game. He confessed that he heard that a two goal lead is the worst lead to have in football so that's why he missed the spot kick. He did it for the team.

Final Score 0-1 (0-1)

Excellent steaks by Thorlakson and Butler
Great cooking by Mike Snow
Missed penalty: C. Arcari
You were crap award: R. Marrington