A tough game with a sting in the tale............
The Classics had a potential banana skin to overcome for this game. With four regular starters missing through injury or holidays it was anticipated that it would need a back to the walls performance against the old foe, the Stingers. The game was switched to Sunnyside Park at the last minute and the field was more suited to a game of Subbuteo than a regular league game.
However, the game started with the Stingers pressing for an early lead but as the half progressed the Classics adapted to the field and came more into it. The better of the chances fell to the Classics, who outshot the Stingers, but none of them came to anything. Throw ins became corners due to the narrowness of the pitch and Mike Snow was having a field day. Jim Eden was looking dangerous when free kicks were awarded, which they were on a regular basis, and he rattled the bar with one. The others were close but not close enough to break the deadlock. Ray Marrington had been reverted to his old position in defence and the back line looked confident at all times.
The Classics took a deserved lead in the 25th. minute when Eden found himself unmarked on the edge of the penalty area. Unable to switch the ball to his trusty left foot he did the unthinkable and shot with his right. The ball was not hit with great power but it was enough to deceive the Stingers goalkeeper who couldn’t get his hand to it despite a desperate dive to his right. The club statistician is currently waiting for confirmation from the Guinness Book of Records that a new world record has been set with 120 left footed goals and just one right footed one.
A few minutes later Dave Moore had a glorious chance to increase the lead when he went up for a corner kick. Martin Chipperfield sent over a perfect right wing corner which found Dave at the near post but his header went over the bar and the chance was gone. He could hear little voices in his head saying, “Always head the ball down!” It was unfortunate that more of the efforts did not find their way into the back of the net as the chances were flowing for the Classics like Niagara, but the teams left the field at half time with the score at 0-1.
The second half was much the same story with the Classics getting the better of the chances and restricting the opposition to an occasional break away. Stingers best chance came midway through the second half, but Tony Short came out of his area to act as sweeper and hammered the ball to safety. The midfield and forwards were working well as a unit and the defence was standing strong. It looked like it was going to be a one nil victory as the game wore on and Stingers seemed to be running out of options. The game became a little physical and the referee’s whistle got permanently stuck between his lips through usage. Eden took several free kicks again but it just wasn’t his day as they all sailed over or wide but not by much. Efforts by the other forwards had much the same result.
The turning point came three minutes from the end and it is now becoming a familiar story. Just like last week’s goal against, Martin “Bertuzzi” Chipperfield conceded a free kick on the right hand side. It was one of those tackles where the opposing player never realised that he could skydive without taking a plane ride first. The free kick received a deserved yellow card but the result was that the centre came over and Fisher Crockett tried to head clear. Unfortunately for the Classics, the ball fell to one of the Stingers forwards who had the simple task of sidefooting the ball into the net giving Short no chance. It was the Stingers only real effort on goal and gave them an unexpected reward.
It was a cruel blow for the visitors who deserved more out of a game which they never looked like losing, but given the fact that the field was poor and they were key players missing they would probably have taken a 1-1 draw before the game kicked off. It just proves the fact that you have to take your chances or you get punished.
Yellow card: M. Chipperfield
"You Were Crap" award: D. Moore