Welcome to the Alfie Deglan Show........
It was a strong Britannia team which took on a depleted Classics side on the artificial turf at Newton Athletic Park. Gone were some of the big guns with Arcari, Marrington, Moore and McAuley all missing from the starting line up and with Manny Soucker again standing in for the missing Hackel. The team reverted to their old line up of the twin towers back in the centre of defence. The game started with both teams giving as good as they got and Britannia playing the off-side trap to good effect. Bruce Cook was caught off-side three times, and Mike Snow once in the first 10 minutes alone.
The game however came to life in the 11th. minute when Cook laid the ball back to Alfie Deglan about 10 yards out. If the big guns were gone, nobody told Deglan as he proved that the Classics have more in their Arsenal (but more about that later). Deglan unleashed a howitzer bigger than Big Bertha and the ball rocketed into the back of the net for the opener, leaving the home keeper no chance.
In the 18th. minute a clever through ball from Cook sent Deglan haring away into the box. Deglan did not hesitate and his run ended with him sliding in to beat the keeper for his own and the clubs second goal. The goal demoralised Britannia and the Classics turned the screw to pile on more pressure on the overworked but generally efficient home defence. A bouncing ball in the 28th. minute needed just a touch from Snow for a third goal but the final finish just eluded him and the defence cleared the ball.
On the half hour mark, a delightful move involving Ron Jennings, Cook and Deglan saw the ball bounce from player to player as if it was in a pin ball machine. The result of this interplay was that “that man Deglan” again finished in delightful style to give himself a hat-trick, his third for the club, and to put the Classics securely in the driving seat. One wondered if Deglan had placed a magnet in the ball before kick-off as it was certainly attracted to the back of the net. Fisher Crockett was unlucky when he tried to get in on the goalscoring act but his shot curled just wide.
A shell-shocked Britannia tried to claw their back into the game and they did put some pressure on the visitors. Two minutes from the half time whistle they were unlucky when a header from a corner went just wide but the teams left the field with the Classics three goals to the good.
The second half began and on the hour mark Rick Geary’s effort went just wide after a Jim Eden corner. Billy Ranger was running at the Britannia defenders, snapping at their legs like an Aidensfield Yorkshire Terrier, and was generally harrying them to good effect. In the 70th. minute Larry Thorlakson received the ball on the right side of the field. There were three Classics attackers waiting in their starting blocks on the half way line for the off. Thorlakson judged the through ball as if it was threaded through the eye of a needle and it was Deglan, who else, who was the recipient. Deglan sprinted towards goal and the Britannia keeper came way out of his area to try to thwart the relentless bombarding by him, but it was Deglan’s day and he chipped the keeper to perfection to claim his fourth goal of the game and to drive the final nail into the Britannia coffin.
Britannia again countered and had a couple of shots, one which was precariously close to bouncing over the line, but they came to nothing. Doug Smith had a glorious chance to get on the score sheet but he must have been dazzled by his silver boots as he made a complete hash of his attempt to shoot. Thirteen minutes from the end Deglan was substituted, obviously to set off early so that he could find his wallet. Ten minutes from time Geary was sin-binned after an altercation with one of the Britannia players and he was to take no more part in the play.
Five minutes from the end of play Jennings was dreadfully unlucky after Cook put him in a scoring position but all he could do was watch as his shot rebounded off the crossbar and back into play. Soucker did all that was asked of him and he amused the spectators with some of his acrobatics but he held strong and secured another shut out for the team. Now back to the earlier Arsenal comment! The Classics equalled the great recent run of the Arsenal as they notched up their 49th. game without defeat today, thanks mainly to "Man of the Moment" Deglan.
Final Score 0-4 (0-3)
MWG: A. Deglan
A. Deglan scored 4 goals
R. Geary sin-binned
You were crap award: B. Cook