Honours even in physical encounter at Queens Park ......................................
This game began (or almost did) with the home side carrying on from the last game by starting with 12 players on the field. The referee had to remove one player. The Classics started brightly enough with Jimmy Butler forcing a corner as early as the second minute. In the fifth minute Alan Massender sent Butler away on the right wing and his centre was kicked away for another corner. The corner was delivered to Chris Arcari who tried a speculative shot from 20 yards but the keeper dived to his left to make a comfortable save. Controvery surrounded the game in the 12th. minute after a blatant off-side decision was missed by the refreree and play was allowed to continue for the home side. Dean Herbert came out to counter the resulting shot which he parried away but unfortunately the ball fell to another attacker, after both Larry Thorlakson and Danny Jensen missed kicking the ball, who toe punted the ball home to put United ahead. Massender was so incenced that he continued to harrass the referee which resulted in a yellow card for his persistence. Massender sent a through ball for Butler in the 16th minute which put him on track for a run at goal but a defended stuck out a boot just in time to concede another corner. Randy Hosler took the corner but the ball went straight for a dead ball kick.
Jensen was the next player to fall foul of the referee after he scythed down an attacker, quicker and more effectively than a John Deere combined harvester in an agricultural competition. The tackle was badly mistimed and the player rose like a salmon out of water only to come down again like a ton of bricks. Jensen received a straight red card for his misdemeanour and had to face a 10 minute cooling off period. A few minutes following the incident Chuck McGill also received a straight red card and a trip to the sin-bin for arguing with the referee over more over officious and inconsistent decisions. McGill had previously been shown the yellow card for a foul. In the 23rd minute another pin-point pass from Massender sent away Butler on another 'route one' to goal. He took the ball into the six yard box and rounded the keeper only to be hacked down by the diving goalie. The referee had no option but than to award the visitors a penalty. Hosler stepped up to take the kick, but after some discussion Doug Rosenlund was appointed to dispatch the kick which he did with accuracy to the right of the diving keeper to give the Classics a deserved equaliser.
An attacking move through the centre sent Thorlakson away down the right who passed the ball through to Daryl Lawrie who managed to win a corner. Pat Rohla stepped up the take the corner but, once again, the kick caused no problems at it too went direct for a goal kick. A familiar cry came from the sideline of, "You've got a hundred yards out there!" Minutes later Rohla was in the action again but this time only to lose the ball which the home side almost benefitted from but Rick Geary was on hand to sweep the ball to safety. A good flowing right wing move in the 39th minute saw Lawrie pass the ball across to Butler who won another corner for the visitors. The resultant corner fell to Gene Crowley who hit the ball hard but it hit the top bar (American football) before bouncing down onto the top of the goalpost and away for a dead ball. It looked more dangerous than it was due to the confusing bouncing of the ball.
The second half was only five minutes old before McGill received a yellow card which could be a new club record as it is unusual for a player to receive three cards in one match! Jensen had another altercation in a match which was becoming more and more niggly. At one stage of the second half, Hosler was also being held in a neck choking position until it was pointed out to the home player that the Classics hold the copyright on such a hold. The second half was insignificant in footballing terms as both teams upped the ante on the physical side of the game which was a shame as both side have undoubted skills which were not allowed to be displayed because of the intensity and robustness of the game. On balance the Classics had more of the possession and had the better of the scoring chances but special mention should also be given to Dean Herbert who is gaining in confidence and pulled off some good saves. Suffice to say Serbia were congratulating each other at the end of the match on what they considered a well earned point.
The after match discussions surrounded the match incidents (and there were lots). It was unclear, and even the referee didn't know when asked, how many yellow and red cards were distributed throughout the game but the home side had two red cards and an estimated four yellows so the total card count for the match was in the region of eleven. The referee had better slight of hand than David Copperfield and he was complaining of an aching arm due to his constant waving. Someone suggested that he was auditioning for the Hitler youth! Friendly arguments abounded and tempers frayed as Herbert confessed that he had only one nerve left and Arcari was on it! Thorlakson had been nut-megged during the match and received the appropriate ribbing. He was also reminded about the basics of the game ie. If you can't get the man try to get the ball. He was more than his usual chirpy self and was downright abusive to many of his team mates, buoyed by the fact that he had brought his hit-man-cum-bouncer along to the match with him. The Axe was really hammering! It was all friends at the end though and the opposition left early to go back to the referee's house for a drink. The referee had a big hand in the day and at one stage he told both teams to 'play like Canadians' even though he didn't seem to be officiating like a Canadian!
Final Score: Serbia 1 Classics 1 (1-1)
GK: Dean Herbert
Yellow cards: Alan Massender, Danny Jensen, Chuck McGill
Red cards: Chuck McGill
Penalty Scored: Doug Rosenlund
Crap award: Absent so it remains with Chuck McGill