Tough battle for season ender ......................................
This final match of the season had to be switched from a home match to an away fixture as the Classics' field was out of action due to the heavy rains of the week. The Classics team mounted the team ark and headed off down the Fraser River to Port Coquitlam to find a field which was in surprisingly good shape, albeit it was another giant field like they all are on that side of the river. Mind you, the Classics have had enough experience on these types of field to be able to enter a team for the corner-kicking relay in the next Olympic Games, if the event is ever created. The Classics were playing opposition with some very young-looking 50-year-olds and were a goal down in the first minute. A high ball came through which Dave Moore attempted to clear with a header. However, he was put off by Danny Jensen who sneaked up behind him and shouted, "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" or at least it sounded like that. That was sufficient to allow the ball to scuff the top of Moore's head and over Jensen directly into the path of an unmarked Essondale attacker who headed for goal. His initial shot was parried by Dean Herbert but the forward picked up the rebound and hammered the ball home for one of the fastest goals ever to be conceded by the Classics. Moore did admit his partial guilt at the conclusion of the game but did offer the assist to Jensen. The Essondale keeper did a terrible dead ball kick in the ninth minute which just exited the penalty box. One of the defenders did a mis-hit on the ball which landed very nicely for Gordie Macklin who picked his spot to the left of the keeper, giving him no chance and much dismay, to level the scores. On the half hour mark it was almost deja vu as another poor dead ball clearance landed at the feet of Macklin who put Pat O'Krane through on goal. O'Krane scuffed his shot and it went wide of the post.
Two minutes into the second half of the game Alfie Deglan was foulded on the edge of the penalty box. Randy Hosler took the kick and hit the ball well, but it was just wide of the right hand upright. In the 50th minute the game sprang to life as the ball went into 'pin-ball' mode in the Essondale box. A shot rebounded off the right hand post and the next minute or more was spent watching the ball bounce here, there and everywhere, in and out of the danger area until it was finally cleared away to safety. It looked like the Classics were on one of those days where nothing was going right. Passes had gone astray and play had been very scrappy with no one able to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Things were not looking good and it looked like the run of successive wins could be at an end. Macklin was making a nuisance of himself in the penalty box and was pushed over just on the edge of the box. The Classics were awarded another free kick which Jensen stepped up to take but his effort eventually hit a defended and went away for a corner. A good move down the right side was started by Hosler who sent away O'Krane. His cross went to Gene Crowley who side footed the ball over the bar. Time was running out and the Classics were running out of ideas. A 12th. minute move was ended when Alfie Deglan shot wide to the left of the goal post. Deglan followed up with two more shots but again his efforts went skywards. It looked like being one of those games.
Another free kick by Jensen was set up by dummies from Pat Rohla and Warren Crowley (that's a total of four dummies if you are counting) but his effort was again not on target and went for a dead ball. In the 65th. minute a great ball in from Rohla was heading for Lorenzo Arcari's head. He jumped up with the keeper but, unluckily for the Classics, it also went out for a dead ball kick. A pattern was forming. Another great centre from Rohla in the 70th minute resulted in the breakthrough that that the Classics needed. G. Crowley jumped up with the keeper and the ball fell back in the six-yard box and finally, the 'luck of the Irish' was with the Classics as the ball was superbly hammered into the roof of the net, with an unstoppable shot, by W. Crowley. The Crowley twins had struck! It was a lead that the Classics had battled for but didn't look like they were ever going to achieve. With a quarter of an hour remaining another edge of the box free kick was awarded to the Classics. This time Jim Eden stepped up to see if he could recreate one of his legendary master strikes. He hit the ball well but, although on target, it was too close to the keeper which he took with relative ease.
With ten minutes remaining a left wing Essondale corner went direct into the Classics net with the aid of the wind. The kick was reordered, however, as the referee was sorting out some pushing in the box. (Don't watch too much of the Premier League rubbish!) It was the turn of Essondale to pile on the pressure in the hope of an equaliser and they were awarded an indirect free kick with the now dangerous wind at their backsides. The ball was floated in towards the top right hand angle of the goalposts. Herbert jumped in an attempt to save the shot and the ball went directly into the net. The jubilation of Essondale was short lived however as the referee correctly awarded a dead ball kick as no one had touched the ball on it's way in (well left Deano!) The Classics had the ball in the net again with just five minutes remaining after Rohla has put W. Crowley though but the goal was rightly give off side. Sensing the urgency of Essondale, combined with the inability of the Classics to string together their usual flowing football, the last five minutes were used to run down the time. Rohla was the main culprit so well done Pat! The Classics did not play well and it was a scrappy game. This was partly because Essondale did their bit by trying to take the game to the Classics but it was just one of these days. The game was won 'ugly' and sometimes that is needed. Special mention should go to the referee who handled the game in an excellent and professional manner throughout. The result rounded off a very successful season for the Classics and the ugly win was the eleventh consecutive win for the team. Not a bad way to end the season! Well done to everyone who played their part.
Final Score: Classics 2 Essondale 1 (1-1)
MWG: W. Crowley
Crap award: D. Moore