Classics v Poco Blues
Newton Athletic #1
16th. March 2003

Fantastic on the plastic........
All eyes were on Jim Eden in his attempt to beat Bruce Cook's all-time goalscoring record of 111 goals for the club... ...and it didn't take long! The Classics were a goal up in three minutes and that man Eden was the man on target after a left wing move which, started with Chuck McGill, was centred by Hans Erker. Eden was 12 yds. out and curled a beautiful shot wide to the left of the Poco goalkeeper. The game was stopped as Dave Moore presented Eden with a commemorative plaque from the centre circle.

It was soon to be 2-0 when Alfie Deglan played a nice 1-2 with Billy Ranger on the edge of the box to blast the ball past the despairing keeper. Goal number three came in the 18th. minute when Billy Ranger turned and hit a screamer into the net. Doug Smith got onto the scoresheet in the 35th. minute with a boomerang shot after being put through on the right hand side by Al Burton. It became 5-0 before the half was out when Ranger hit his second, after his usual turn, with a left foot shot after another Erker pass.

The second half started brightly and the Classics were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Eden, seeing the Poco defence in disarray, took an opportunist goal and planted the ball into the back of the net as the Poco team were still thinking about organising a wall. The Poco team objected but the referee rightly allowed the goal.

Eden completed his hat trick with a shot from the right hand side to put the icing on the cake on his special day. Poor Poco were feeling the whiplash of a team who were determined to end the season on a high note. They did have the odd breakthrough but the Classics defence coped admirably. Garry Hackel made some brilliant one-on-one saves when needed and he came out of goal for the last 15 minutes to be replaced by Martin Chipperfield.

Les Puskas, playing against his old team, made a break through and Moore cleared the ball in the box only for the referee to harshly judge that he had fouled Puskas and award a penalty. The referee refused to allow a goalkeeper change, a mystifying decision, and Chipperfield faced Puskas who opted to take the penalty himself. Diving low to his left, "Chipper" made a marvelous save to ensure that justice was done.

Burton completed the rout with the eighth goal after an Eden free kick rebounded off a defender and, from 22yds., he curled a beautiful shot into the net. All eight goals were top drawer as the Classics completed their season in style on the synthetic NAP #1 field. If only the Classics could play all their games on such a surface!