Classics scrape through........
The Classics visited South Surrey on a crisp day to play one of their bogey teams, Peace Arch. In a quick opening the Classics found themselves two goals to the good in the space of the first five minutes. In their first attack, Billy Ranger was read the riot act by the referee after challenging the home goalkeeper and unceremoniously bringing him down to earth with a bump. It's amazing what having your kid watching the game can do! Ask Larry Thorlakson! Jim Eden had started the game in the unconventional role of right wing as Alfie Deglan was not ready for action from the off. What an impressive first five minute he gave though. In the second minute, Eden (wearing what looked like his wife's tights) took the ball forward and placed a precision centre directly to the foot of Chris Arcari who, totally unmarked, hammered the ball into the back of the net for the opener.
A minute later John Wilson took a free kick which rattled the crossbar after a rasping but rising shot. In the fifth minute came the second goal. A beautiful left wing centre from Mike Snow was well met by Arcari who this time showed his versatility by powering a header home from close range. It was a perfect start for the Classics. Snow was causing all sorts of problems for the Arch defence with his long range throw ins and the Classics were unlucky not to be three up within the first quarter of an hour.
In the sixteenth minute a bad decision brought the home side back into the match. The referee, who apparently used to play for Peace Arch, awarded a corner kick for what was blatantly a dead ball. When questioned about the decision, the referee said, "Well, it was worth a corner." The mind boggles as the referee was obviously playing the old 'off-side' rules also. The corner came across and danced along the crossbar for what seemed an age. It would have taken a physicist a couple of hours to decide whether the ball would drop behind the bar or back into play. Poor Manny Soucker in the Classics goal just stood there waiting, and waiting and waiting. When it did eventually drop into play, Manny had to decide whether to punch it away or to gather the ball. Having used up his 50-50 chance and his 'ask the supporters' options he decided to phone a friend. In the meantime an attacking player nipped in and headed the ball home to make it 1-2 and that is how the game finished at the half.
With Bruce Cook on holiday and Ranger having to leave the game at half time the Classics were a bit short on fire power up front as the second half began. The Classics were struggling to gain control of the game and Peace Arch were holding their own and causing some problems for the Classics defence. Midway through the second half, Arch equalised. A disjointed and at times apprehensive Classics defence got it totally mixed up. It was obviously the migratory season for defences as the whole of the Classics defence had moved over to the left side of the field to mark the Arch right winger who whipped over a cross to two unmarked attackers. They had a quick game of 'rock, paper, scissors' to decide which one of them should put the ball in the net past the unarmed German in the goals. It was an uncharcteristic moment for the usually reliable Classics defence but they had become the architect of their own downfall.
With the score at 2-2 it was anyone's game now. Eden was involved in a mini altercation with one of the Arch defenders and after a few 'handbags at ten paces' was give his marching orders for a cooling off period. However, with the echoing sounds of the Chiffon's 'Sweet Talking Guy' blaring from his iPod, Eden somehow sweet talked the referee into remaining on the field. The statestician had already entered the yellow card in his little black book so it's only fair to award a half yellow card for the infraction.
With ten minutes of the game remaining a flash of brilliance from Deglan brought the visitors the victory that they just about deserved. A beautiful ball from Wilson found Deglan 20 yards out from goal. With the keeper off his line, Deglan turned and lashed a teriffic shot-cum-chip which sailed high beyond the keeper and into the net for a goal which deserved to win any match. Deglan had somehow pickpocketed the result for Classics.
Not an impressive performance by the Classics usually high standards, but one which again showed the teams character to win through against the odds. Peace Arch should be congratulated for their contribution towards a well fought game.
Final Score 2-3 (1-2)
MWG: A. Deglan