It was a sunny day and Langley Aces were the visitors to McMillan Island. Langley have undergone many personnel changes recently and have a reputation of being a good side so it was to be another severe test for the Classics, who themselves have struggled defensively for the majority of the season. They almost got off to a whirlwind start when some neat interchanging play in the first attack of the game resulted with Jimmy Butler bundling the ball over the line. The referee blew for a foul and play was halted for a few minutes until the Langley keeper had regained his composure.... and his teeth.
The Classics did take the lead in the 4th. minute after a right sided free kick from Danny Jensen was played into the box and this season's new scoring sensation Butler, again showed his persistence and eventually knocked the ball into the net. Ten minutes later Butler was on the mark again after some nice interplay between the midfield and the forwards in the box was finished off with a rasping shot from the run-away leading striker.
Langley reduced the deficit in the 20th. minute after a defensive mix-up between Rick Geary and Garry Hackel allowed a Langley forward to capitalise on the situation and pull the game back to a one goal difference. Five minutes later the home side pressed the self-destruct button yet again and a weak backpass from Ray Marrington to Hackel left him in no-man's land. Again a Langley forward nipped in to punt the ball past the helpless Hack. The usually strong, give-nothing away, resolute defence was in tatters and allowed another couple of soft goals to make them look as weak as water that had been diluted.
Ten minutes before the break the Classics had the lead once again after a delightful Jensen cross from the left side of the field allowed Billy McAuley to get his name on the scoresheet again with a fine finish, this time without taking any deflections! The score remained at 3-2 as the teams left the field for the half time break.
The second half began at fever pitch again with a right-wing break resulting in Pat Rohla sending over a tempting cross which a defender did well to clear away. In the 52nd. minute the Classics were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Jensen spotted Butler in a dangerous position and he quickly threaded a pass through the eye of a needle direct to the feet of Butler who turned quickly and finished with aplomb to claim his second hat-trick of the season. Needless to say, it will cost him somewhere down the line.
Marrington was shown a yellow card for conceding a free kick just outside the box but the card was a harsh one as he accidentally tripped a Langley forward as they both jostled for possession. The referee no doubt awarded the card as Marrington was the last man. Fisher Crockett then had his usual conversation with the floor. It must be a religious thing as every home game he spends some time with his face to the floor, facing the west, and praying.
In the 63rd. minute Chuck McGill conceded a penalty. It was a needless penalty and looked tame with two defenders and the keeper vying for the ball with only one forward. However, it was given and the Aces dispatched the kick just to the right of Hackel who would have probably saved it had he not moved beforehand. Another comic episode was about to unfold after Hackel controlled the ball in his box from a backpass. Hackel kicked the ball out but it hit Larry Thorlakson on the back of his heel and rebounded safely to the bemused keeper. Jim Eden took a yellow card after uncerimoniously tripping an opposing player (accidentally) from the back.
Ten minutes from the end of the game Hackel started a delightfully flowing move when he threw the ball out to Jensen who found Billy Ranger about 40 yards from goal. Ranger slipped an inch perfect pass through for Alfie Deglan who steam-rollered the ball into the back of the net with a low, repeat low shot. At 5-3 there was no way back for the Aces although they kept up the tempo and wouldn't lie down. The Classics had to work for this win. It wasn't pretty but it was a win. It just goes to show - with the Classics current defence, ANY goalkeeper can let in three goals in a game.
Final Score 5-3 (3-2)
Hat Trick: J. Butler
MWG: B. McAuley
Yellow cards: R. Marrington (foul); J. Eden (foul)
You were crap award: B. Cook