Missed chances could have been so costly........
Played in a torential downpour the Classics entertained Richmond United Olympics on the artificial turf at Newton Athletic. It was a return to action for Alfie Deglan and it didn't take him long to show that he hadn't lost any of his skill or flair. In only the second minute he blasted a shot way over the bar. However, he then followed up minutes later with a rasper of a shot which rattled the crossbar. It was a much improved opening spell from the Classics and they deservedly took the lead on the quarter hour mark after some fine work out on the right wing from Mike Snow. Snow centered the ball to the awaiting Chris Arcari who buried the ball in the back of the net with a shot from 12 yards out.
The Olympics were trying to out-muscle the Classics with an aggressive style of play but the home team wouldn't be out-muscled and some early exchanges resulted in one of the visitors having to leave the field after a tussle with Chuck McGill, an unwise choice on his behalf. It was mainly attacking play from the home side for the remainder of the half, but some woeful finishing meant that their superiority went unrewarded and the teams left for the half time break with the single goal separating the teams.
The Olympics bolstered their squad for the second half as they played part of the first half a man down but they couldn't really get a grasp on the game with Garry Hackel being a relative spectator. As the half progressed the visitors did make a few openings but Hackel handled their efforts competently enough to ensure that their efforts remained unrewarded. Doug Smith was getting a lot of the ball and one incident saw him beat a man seven times at the corner flag with some attractive close ball skills. It was just like watching Brasil.
The Olympics tired as the half wore down although they almost snatched an equaliser with 10 minutes to go but the ball was eventually cleared. The second half was a story of missed chances. Arcari, Billy Ranger and Bill McAuley all hit the crossbar with Deglan hitting it twice. Tony Short missed a simple chance with 20 minutes to go. The effort was that easy that Jim Eden could have scored it with his right foot but Short slashed the ball hopelessly wide. Ranger also missed a sitter after an inch perfect pass from Dave Moore had put him in the clear. He rounded the keeper but then sliced the ball wide past the post. Smith and McAuley were also the culprits of easy misses.
Double figures could and should have been attained but for the basic inability to put the ball in the back of the net. Arcari put the game beyond all doubt with just five minutes to go. He received the ball on the left wing and, reminiscent of his mentor's match winning goal the previous game, let fly Moore-like and watched as the ball sailed high and wide of the keeper and nestled comfortably in the back of the old onion bag. Smith claimed an assist on the goal and he deserved it as he kept out of Arcari's way.
On a day when it rained, it should have been raining goals for the Classics but it was not to be. The performance was however a much improved display and the home side ran out easy winners in the end, but it could have been so different had the Olympics finished their chance near the end of the game. The visitors had played well and have the makings of a good team but they lacked the manpower as one or two subs on their sideline could have made all the difference to the result. So it's back to shooting practice for the Classics as it is criminal that so many chances should go begging in one match.
Final Score 2-0 (1-0)
You were crap award: B. Ranger