A downpour of rain and a flood of goals........
This game was played in torrential rain with the Classics having the luxury of nine substitutes anxiously waiting on the sideline. The first half was an even game with efforts at both ends. The first real chance fell to Cosmos in the fifth minute when a rasping shot from the edge of the area saw Garry Hackel make a miraculous one handed save. The shot was destined for the top right corner and Hackel had to dive high to his left to push the shot away for a corner. It could have been the turning point.
It was end to end stuff in this exciting encounter but the deadlock was broken one minute before the half time whistle. Alfie Deglan found himself unmarked with the ball on the right side of the penaly area. Deglan, for once, put his head down and thought of Germany. He unleashed an unstoppable rocket from all of 22 yards which flew into the top left hand side of the net. A killer punch for Cosmos and turning point number two of the game.
The second half was a different story. With only one substitute, Cosmos visibly started to tire and the Classics (with new legs) came stronger as the game progressed. Goal number two came ten minutes into the half. Martin Chipperfield attoned for his earlier corner which missed the "hundred yards out here to hit" with a fine in-swinging corner kick which gave Ray Marrington the simplest of chances to bundle the ball over the line. Minutes later Doug Smith confused everybody - and I mean everybody - when he found himself free on the right. Everyone was shouting for a centre but "Skippy" cleverly deceived everyone by taking a cunning shot which hit the right post before bouncing across the face of the goal to eventually end up being a goal kick on the left side of the goalpost. Rolf Harris would have been proud of him!
Goal number three came after good work by Marrington, who put Billy Ranger away on his own in the box. From then on it was a formality for Ranger who cooly notched his fourth goal of the season with his usual aplomb. In the 75th. minute Chuck McGill (pictured) even got in on the goalscoring act. McGill had been granted a visa on his passport to enable him to venture across the half-way line. Jim Eden timed the pass to perfection and McGill, foraging on the edge of the box, hit a left foot shot to the hapless goalkeepers left for the fourth goal. It wasn't the goal which amazed everyone but the celebration was spectacular. McGill did a triple summersault, with two side flips and a hop skip and a jump before he finally belly flopped into the corner flag. If only the cameras were there.
Dave Moore (or was it Billy Two Rivers) was then severely punished for an innoculous challenge. A Cosmos attacker took offence at the method which Moore innocently took him down, and Moore tried to remedy the situation by calmly holding the player in a triple head lock with a simultanious bear hug followed by a full body pin. The referee was about to abandon the game due to the 'three falls or a submission' rule but play continued. And a good job it did as Ranger would not have got the fifth goal otherwise. The fifth goal came after Smith centred the ball from the right. Ranger was pounding down on the Cosmos keeper and the keeper punched to ball out. The ball rebounded off Ranger's head and into the net. Although it looked like an accident, Ranger insisted, "I meant that and played for it" so well done Billy for persistance. The only downside was that Ranger immediately removed himself from the field to avoid notching a costly hat-trick.
All in all a good performance from the Classics on a rain and wind swept day. The boys came through and sheer weight of numbers was the telling factor in this exciting encounter.