"Rule the Classics, the Classics rule the waves"...........
The crowd at Newton Athletic Park was swelled by a large contingency of English supporters who somehow must have got lost after the Euro 2004 games. They thought they were watching an England v Scotland friendly game (if there could be such a thing) and really got into the swing of things with chants and cheerleading that set a charming atmosphere on the warm summer evening.
The game itself was a gruelling encounter with neither team wanting to make any mistakes and both teams putting safety first. Britannia almost took the lead in the 10th. minute when a break away on the right hand side ended with an attacker shooting the ball goalwards with Garry Hackel beaten. Dave Moore dived full length to head the ball off the line and save Hackel’s blushes. The cry from the touchline of, “Two Davey Moores, there’s only two Davey Moores” caused some confusion though!
The remainer of the half was rather uneventful and became a midfield struggle. Jim Eden played some fine balls out to the wings but unfortunately nothing positive came from them as the final ball was always lacking. Rick Geary and Ray Marrington kept the team in it with some resolute defending but the teams left for the half-time break at a stalemate.
The second half began and although the play was ugly at times neither team could find the breakthrough to get the goal which would probably be enough to win this encounter. In the 55th. minute it finally arrived in the form of a penalty, awarded to the Classics for a hand ball in the area. Arcari stepped up to take the kick but the usually devastating midfielder bottled it at the last minute and struck a relatively easy shot which was easily saved by the grateful Britannia goalkeeper who only had to move slightly to his left. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Classics.
In the 65 minute Geary was awarded a yellow card after leaning too heavily on the opposition. It was an unusual award as the opposing player didn’t even hit the floor with any force. Five minutes later Fisher Crockett was called on to kick the ball off the line, a call which he answered with aplomb. Geary was forced to retire from the game with a recurrence of his ongoing injury so it was now a case of setting up shop to keep the attackers at bay and hope for a breakaway to win the game.
In the 75th. minute the Classics were awarded a free kick some 45 yards out. Eden (pictured), seeing the Britannia defence scuttling back to gain positional advantage, unleashed a missile which sailed high over the sea of defenders and totally caught the keeper unprepared as it sailed delightfully into the top left angle of the net. It was a goal good enough to grace any stadium and it was certainly a goal worthy to be a match winner.
The Classics then built a defensive barrier for the remainer of the game but the only worthwhile effort came when Britannia hit the crossbar in one attack, but the rebound was cleared away to safety by Marrington. In the final analysis, it was a game which the Classics had to grind out a result. It might not have been pretty but sometimes the result is more important than the performance and this just happened to be one of those nights. Even though, the travelling supporters left the game with some fond memories.
Penalty Missed: C. Arcari
Yellow Card: R. Geary
"You Were Crap" award: C. Arcari