It was like turning the clock back for the Classics as they were making their debut at their temporary home of Sunnyside Park, White Rock, the former home of Semiahmoo FC from whence the Classics were originally formed. The return to action after the summer lay-off was too hard to handle for some of the Classics players as the team was decimated with players still on holiday and out through injury. Had Dave Moore not made his way to the field after his new grandaughter's Christening at Church they would have fielded a team of ten men. Three new players failed to show up which added further pressure to the team but there was a welcome return to action from "The Budge" (pictured) who has finally been enticed out of retirement.
On an uneven, unmarked field, the game started some 20 minutes late. To add insult to injury the referee never showed up either but a spare visiting player thankfully stepped in to fill the role. Both teams began the game cautiously as the two teams had not met for several years and were unsure of what to expect. Tony Short stepped in between the nets, a role he has filled many times before. The figure five naturally springs to mind but it could have been more times than that. The early running was done by the home side and what few chances were created were at the visitors end. Short kicked out the ball in the tenth minute and went down injured but with no substitutes available he bravely played on till the end of the game.
The game swung in the visitors favour ten minutes from the end of the first half when they were awarded a penalty. The ball had innocuously bounced up at the hand of Moore and the referee pointed to the spot. No-one had noticed anything and there wasn't even any appeals for a foul but the penalty was given. Rick Geary decided to go in goal for the spot-kick although his colleagues were left to ask "why?" after the goal was easily scored. The teams left the field for the half time break with the score at 0-1 to the visitors.
In the second half the Classics pushed for the equaliser with some good efforts being well saved by the short but competent Thistles keeper. A breakthorough came in the 65th. minute when a well practised training ground ploy worked to great effect. Mike Snow, the man with the iron arms, took a long throw to Bruce Cook who was lurking at the near post. Cook intelligently headed the ball on and into the danger area where Chris Arcari powered in with a fierce header to level the scores. Ray Marrington claimed that he unsighted the keeper but it was just so that he could get a mention in the write up. It was no less than the Classics had deserved, although they did seem a tad jaded with many passes going astray. Fisher Crockett was having a great game with some effective runs down the left wing and Budgie Burton was starting to look his old self again with the exception of one or two clever passes which should have been simple passes.
The Classics took the lead in the 75th. minute after an indirect free kick was awarded on the edge of the penalty box. After requesting that the defenders retreat the customary 10 yards, Arcari pushed the ball sideways to Cyclops Eden for a shot. Eden responded in fine style as he hit the ball over the wall and watched in delight as the ball struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down and over the line to give the Classics the lead for the first time in the match.
Five minutes from the end it was all square again when the Classics defence failed to mark up properly from a corner and the ball was hacked back into the box for a Thistle player to head the ball home. A draw was probably a fair result as both teams were a little rusty at the beginning of a new season. The game was played in fine spirit throughout which was a good job considering the absence of a league referee. The 'crap award' has been held over for another week but will be back!
Final Score 2-2 (0-1)
Penalty conceded: D. Moore