Fresh from their summer training camp, the Classics took the field to renew acquaintences with their old foe Britannia. For one reason or another, the two team have not met since their Newton Athletic days back in January 2006 when goals from Bruce Cook, Alfie Deglan and Billy Ranger gave the Classics a 3-1 success and completed the double for the season over Britannia.
This game was played in good conditions and on a good field which encouraged good skills. The first half was a fair battle but the best chances fell to the visitors who hit the woodwork on three occasions. Classics keeper Garry Hackel now has to commute to the games from Hope, a round trip of some 200 kms. and although most people think he is beyond hope, he actually lives in the town itself. There was also a welcome return from injury for Chas Jones who has just returned from a year in the Twilight Zone. A funny incident occurred when Chuck McGill took his top off and some wag from the sideline quipped “stick a harpoon in that” but both teams went in for the half-time break with the scores even at 0-0. Al Burton picked up a yellow card for a slide tackle.
The second half began with some good attacking play from the Classics but they had too many shots going astray and could not take full advantage of their superiority. McGill, having been thrust forward into attack, was finding the going tough. Some thought that maybe he could well have had have had a first half hat-trick but that would be cruel. It can never be said that the Classics players bring down their own men! However, McGill was guilty of a glaring miss in the 54th. minute when the simplest of touches would have opened the scoring after a fine right wing cross left him unmarked with the keeper beaten. However he missed. He needs to work on his fitness, and his new trainer Lara must shoulder some of the blame on his behalf. McGill made amends a minute later after Paddy Rohla took a right sided throw in to Burton who whipped over a cross which found him unmarked and 15 yards out from goal. McGill instinctively controlled the ball and continued to juggle it on both feet until it went over the line for the opening goal. It was a well taken goal!
On the hour mark, Rohla sent Jimmy Butler off on a break away and he cooly finished to make the Classics two goals superior. Britannia tried to get back into the game but another goal killed off any hope of a revival. Doug Rosenlund was marauding down the right wing and he put over a speculative shot-cum-centre which totally deceived the overworked Britannia keeper as it sailed above and beyond him into the net. With 15 minutes remaining it was going to take a miracle for the hosts to get back into the game. A left wing attack resulted in a centre which ex-Classics player Doug Smith almost converted with a header but fortunastely for the Classics his neck was not long enough. Rick Geary was shown a yellow card after he conceded a free kick after an over exhuberant tackle.
With ten minutes remaining a left wing cross from Jim Eden went across the face of the goal and Butler chased after the ball to screw it back into the danger area from an acute angle. The ball hit the upright and bounced out to Mike Snow who fired the ball home to put the Classics 4-0 up. With two minutes remaining on the clock, Butler went off on another right wing break and he cut inside to find himself one-on-one with the keeper. There was only one winner as Butler stroked home the fifth goal to the left of the goalkeepers despairing dive.
The win was the result of a good all round team contribution in which the Classics midfield was superb in their distribution, close control and deft chance creating passes. The forwards worked their socks off and the defence, competently marshalled by Jensen, stood resolute throughout the game. Keeper Hackel had little to do as Britannia didn't muster a decent goalworthy effort but what he did do, he did with confidence.
Final Score 0--5 (0-0)
Yellow Cards: A. Burton (slide tackle); R. Geary (foul)
MWG: Chuck McGill
You were crap award: Chuck McGill