The first quarter of an hour of this game was like a cat and mouse with each team syking each other out but doing it cautiously, not knowing what to expect. It has been some time since these teams met and a tough game was expected by both sides. The first real scoring chance fell to the Classics in the 18th. minute when a nice free kick from Jim Eden was headed up and over the keeper by Bruce Cook. The effort brought a good reaction save by the visiting keeper and he tipped the ball over the bar to safety.
The Classics started to take control with the defence holding strong and the midfield getting stuck in. The pressure paid off in the 25th. minute as they took the lead. It was a textbook finish and one straight from the training ground. A long right wing throw from Mike Snow was intelligently headed on into the six yard box by Cook and Billy Ranger was on hand to finish off the move as he stuck the ball in the only place it would fit from five yards. It was a play perfectly predicted by Fisher Crockett who gave a running commentry of the goal from the touchline even before the ball was thrown.
Manny Soucker was called to action for the first time on the half hour mark as he scurried across the goal to pick up the Regals first goalscoring attempt, as tame as it was. The half ended with Rangers goal separating the two teams. The Regals came out in the second half in a determined mood but still they could not break through the defensive lines of the home side. Chuck McGill was unlucky in the 55th. minute when a right wing corner was played back to him. McGill turned to hit the ball goalwards but the effort was unfortunately too high. Billy McAuley was yellow carded on the hour mark after constant mouthing to the referee but it was one of those games where no quarter was asked or given.
A minute later a great free kick from Eden (right) from the right side of the penalty box was floated over and it had goal written all over it. It should have been in but somehow missed everybody and the target. Doug Smith was getting stuck in and putting himself about well for a boy so sensitive that fabric conditioner usually brings him out in a rash, and he was very unlucky in the 65th. minute when his long range effort from the right wing almost caught the keeper out but he rose well to gather the ensuing shot.
Cook sent over a right wing centre in the 66th. minute and Ranger somehow made his neck swan-like enough to divert the ball goalwards. Ranger had his back to the goals and the keeper was jumping with him but he somehow sent the ball backwards and into the net for the second goal to make him the leading scorer for the season with 12 goals. It was a remarkable goal and fully deserved for the sheer effort that Ranger put into it. From this point on the Classics went into cruise-control and were rarely troubled.
Ranger was denied his hat-trick ten minutes from time when his third goal was disallowed for an offside decision. The look of relief on his face was plainly evident as the decision saved him buying a round of drinks! There was effort in abundance from all players on duty and it would be unfair to single out players for individual recognition, but in the final analysis the partial observer could say that the Classics outworked the opposition and thoroughly deserved their victory on the day.
Final Score 2-0 (1-0)
MWG: B. Ranger
Yellow Card: B. McAuley