Britannia blow it........
After two goal barren matches it was important for the Classics to get back on the goal trail again. The match against the Auld Firm kicked off on a blustery Newton Athletic turf field with the Classics opting to take full advantage of the wind in the first half.
The Classics went on the attack straight from the kick off and peppered the Britannia defence in a non stop barrage like heat seeking missiles. The offensive play paid early dividends for the home side. In the 7th. minute a beautiful left wing centre from Jim Eden landed perfectly on Bruce Cook's head. Only one yard out from goal, these headers are bread and butter to the experienced Cook and he made no mistake as he powered the ball home to give the Classics an early deserved lead. The goal was Cook's 128th. for the club, ironically equalling provider Eden's tally. There's no selfishness on this team!
Try as they may, Britannia were finding it hard to play against the wind and the first half was pretty much one way traffic. The Classics had a strong squad out with recent absentees Rick Geary, Alfie Deglan and Tony Short all making welcome returns to the playing action. Britannia's keeper was certainly earning his corn as he was called on to make save after save, two of which from Cook and Deglan were quite outstanding. With most of the play in the Britannia half, it was surprising that the teams left the field with only Cook's goal to show for their efforts.
The visitors came more into the action in the second half but were still finding it difficult to penetrate the miserly Classics defence. Play was more evenly balanced and Britannia were coming more into the play but were more or less restricted to long range attempts which caused few problems for Garry Hackel in the Classics goal.
Incident number two came just four minutes later when the ball came back into the Classics penalty box. The ball hit Chuck McGill on the shin and cannoned up to hit him on the hand. The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. Could this be happening? It was a cruel call as there was no way that McGill could have avoided the ball hitting him. Even Bruce Lee would have found it impossible to move that fast. However, a penalty kick was the result and with it a chance for the opposing team to take the lead. Eric Errington, one of several on-loan Stingers players, opted to take the kick and the home side needed Hackel to perform his now expected penalty save heroics. He was up for it! Errington hit the kick and Hackel half dived to his right for the save. The ball was struck more central than wide and Hackel had to adjust in mid-air. He parried the kick and it landed in front of the keeper and he somehow managed to get the ball nestled comfortably between his legs. It brought a smile to his face! It looked clumsy but it was a master save and quite the swan song for Hackel who leaves next week on his annual Mexican siesta.
Twilight Zone Over
Five minutes later came the icing on the cake. Billy Ranger, under strict instructions to get a goal in the second half, took the ball well in the penalty area and went on a little jinking run which ended with him powering his way through and forcing the ball over the line for the third. That was game, set and match and one could see the Britannia player's heads visibly drop.
It was a well fought contest between two good teams and one which Britannia could have won had the penalty kick gone in their favour. But it was not to be and they blew it big time, thanks mainly to Hackel's incredible anticipation. The Classics could have been there for the taking but their character eventually showed and it was enough to win through in the end.
Final Score 3-1 (1-0)
C. McGill conceded a penalty
G. Hackell saved a penalty
MWG: A. Deglan
You were crap award: F. Crockett awarded by F. Crockett