A new beginning........
It was a return to action for the Classics. After a dismal end to last season which saw them achieve, or equal, three unwanted records, the Classics ventured into the unknown area of the over 55s. The first match was a trip to Chilliwack so no changes there then as Chilliwack had also graduated to the same level. Larry Thorlakson decided that his injury from training was too severe for him to play so the Classics took to the field with just two substitutes. The coaches of the day were Chris Arcari and Gene Crowley who brought in a radical change in formation. Known as the II system (Irish/Italian) the team lined up in a 3-2-3-2 formation but neither of them could work out where the missing player was! The missing player turned out to be Jason 'Jethrine' Clegg, who was making his debut for the club between the sticks.
The match got under way a couple of minutes early and the ball was in the net before you could blink. The ball was threaded down the left from the kick off and Alan Massender sent the perfect cross which was out of the goalkeepers reach to Jimmy Butler who was waiting on the far post. Butler did what he does best and he smashed the ball into the net. The goal was recorded at 25 seconds which makes it the fastest Classics goal on record. A left wing corner from Gordie Macklin in the 10th minute landed at Willie Dixon's feet and he hammered the ball goalwards, but he could only watch as the ball rebounded off the top right angle of crossbar and goalpost. It was all Classics at this stage and all outfield players were in the home half of the field. Butler was guilty of a terrible miss on the quarter-hour after being put through one-on-one with the keeper but, uncharacteristically, his shot went well over the bar when it looked easier to score. He was immediately subbed. The first attack from the home side came two minutes later but Clegg was out of his goal quickly enough to hoof the ball to safety. Play settled into more of a midfield battle and as the half time whistle came it was Butler's goal which separated the two teams.
Early in the second half Pat O'Krane took the first of many shots which went anywhere except towards the goals. Rather than try to describe them all the club statistician decided to do a graphical representation (see left) of how it should be done. O'Krane was going great guns as minutes later he almost got an assist for the opposition when his wayward pass went to a Chilliwack forward in the Classics goalmouth instead of going forward to a teammate. Fortunately for the Classics the Chilliwack team were caught cold - it must have been as big a shock to them. The 55th minute brought a good left wing move but there was no payroll. O'Krane was then put through and, with the keeper well off his line, he tried to chip the ball but didn't get enough height and it dropped gratefully into the home keeper's hands. The 84th minute brought the best scoring chance for Chilliwack and a good effort left wing effort was well tipped out by Clegg who was having a very competent start to his new career. The last five minutes of the game brought the match sealer with a security goal. It stemmed from Massender's left foot again. This time his cross was met with the head of Butler who rose like a giant to head home his second of the day. Butler will in future be known as 'the postman' as he always delivers. The last straw came for O'Krane in the dying minutes when he could have atoned for his earlier misses but he again blasted high and wide and was immediately substituted.
It was not a polished performance from the Classics but the display they showed stopped the rot and got the team back to winning ways. The team have to go back to January for their last shut-out so it was a confidence booster that the defence held out, particularly with the new keeper. As Jim Eden was absent no new car testing took place.
Final Score: Chilliwack 0 Classics 2 (0-1)
Jimmy Butler scored after 25 seconds
Crap Award: Pat O'Krane