The Butler did it!......................................
As the regular reporter was away, Dave Moore graciously offered to take over the match reporting for this week. It was a special day for the Classics as they kicked off a new season in a new league. The Classics upgraded to the over 50s in the 1999/2000 season and after years of playing the same teams in the Southern Section of the league the club decided to undertake a new challenge and opted for a move to the Eastern Section of the over 50s. New faces, new opposition and new venues can only be positive for the club and will give them an uplift as they will need to adjust to taking on teams of an unknown quantity although there will surely also be a meeting of some familiar old faces along the journey. It was also a red letter day for manager Dave Moore who clocked up his 600th. appearance for the club after returning from international duties for the most of last season.
The match kicked off with the visitors putting early pressure on the hosts after showing good movement and some impressive triangular build-up play. The first scare came in the eighth minute after a rare mistake from 'still hung over' Rick Geary when his made a hash of a through ball and put the opposition away down the right wing. A dangerous cross was the result but there was no-one there to put the ball in the net so the danger was alleviated. Pat Rohla gave away a foul midway inside his own half of the left of the field in the 14th. minute and the free kick was executed high into the left side of the penalty area. Larry Thorlakson went to head clear but the pace and trajectory of the ball was such that he could do no more than glance his header and it deflected high to the left of a stranded Dean Herbert who could do nothing more than watch and then pick the ball out of the net.
Doug Rosenlund was being very effective with some fine distribution of the ball and in the 20th. minute he let fly with a rasping shot which cannoned off the crossbar with the home keeper stranded. The ball dropped in the goalmouth and Jimmy Butler tried in vein to force the ball over the line for the equaliser but it just wouldn't bounce right for him. In the 33rd. minute Danny Jensen tried his hand (or should that be foot?) with a long range free kick which the keeper had to scurry across his goalmouth to parry away. This time
Chris Arcari Lorenzo Arcari was on hand to pick up the loose ball and it fell better for him than it had previously done for Butler and he was able to bundle the ball over the line for the equalising goal. It was later confirmed that the goal be credited to Lorenzo and not Chris - there is little difference between them but one nameless wag commented after the game that Lorenzo is an Arcari with no attitude!
Thorlakson was doing all he could to make amends for his own goal and created several useful forages down the right wing. One such run in the 36th. minute resulted in a cross which the keeper could again do no more than parry and this time Butler made no mistake. He provided the killer punch (.......... in the garden with a boot) to send the Classics in 2-1 up at the break.
In the second half the Classics upped their game and took a stranglehold on the match with some good possessional play. The defence always looked strong with many players stepping in to take the positions and each player did a sterling job. Alan Massender had several chances to sew up the game but his shooting was straight out of the Alfie Deglan book. One effort, which was one yard out from the finishing line, looked easier to score than miss but the Black Highlander blazed the ball sky high over the bar - a definite contender for the 'crap' award. Rumour has it that Massender is opening up a pub when he retires from football as he's so good at putting shots over the bar! Massender left the field with a bloody nose after Warren Crowley scraped the bridge of his nose with a well aimed shot. Warren was heard to comment, "It was a a bridge too far."
The pressure was beginning to mount and one goalmouth incident saw no less than four shots hacked away off the line in quick succession as well as another screaming shot against the crossbar by Rosenlund. The killer punch came just after midway through the half after a telling pass from Chuck McGill sent Gene Crowley away down the wing. Crowley slipped the ball through to L. Arcari who laid it off to Rohla who fired goalwards with a thunderous strike. The keeper made his third parry of the game and once again it proved fatal as Butler was 'Jimmy on the spot' again to murder the ball over the keeper into the roof of the net (.......... in the greenhouse with a shot). The game was over as the home side never really threatened the visitors goal and Herbert was left with a relatively easy mornings work - had it not been for one of his own team-mates. In the end it was a useful work out and a good basis to build upon for next weeks visit of the Royals to Noel Booth. After match comments centred around the similarity of the Arcari brothers and of the dangers that we may now have a nucleus of players who are prepared to take bribes and thus endanger the integrity of the club but these fears were later allayed. W. Crowley even congratulated Lorenzo as he left to go home with a cheery, "good game Lorenzo," but he soon confessed that he had never said that to an Arcari before.
Final Score: West Coast Auto/Witch of Endor 1 Classics 3 (1-2)
GK: Dean Herbert
MWG: Jimmy Butler
Crap Award: Larry Thorlakson
The match was Dave Moore's 600th. appearance