It was a beautiful sunny day at the picturesque Willoughby Park in Langley. There was the return of a stronger than usual squad for the Classics after a few weeks of unforseen injuries and players being away for a variety of reasons. The Classics went straight for the jugular in this game and began to apply pressure right from the kick off. A long range effort from Alfie Deglan in the eighth minute of the game was probably going in for a goal but the red hot Bruce Cook had to sneak in and apply the gentlest of touches to claim the glory for himself. All good strikers need to be greedy and Cook's gossamer touch was enough to give him the opening goal.
The ball was causing some problems in the sunlight as it appeared to have been beamed down by Mr. Spock from some unknown Galaxy in the Universe. On second thoughts, it may have even come from the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. A 17th. minute right wing run from Cook resulted in him easily beating his full back and centering for Billy Ranger to apply the finishing touch. However, his goalbound shot was cleared off the line by the other full back.
Some sloppy defensive play in the 22nd. minute gifted the home side an equaliser. A right wing move ended with a couple of shots on goal. It was pin-ball manoeuvers for a few minutes before a grateful Aces attacker hammered the ball high into the roof of the net past the hapless Chas Jones in goal. Three minutes later Chris Arcari was desperately unlucky as he watched his 30 yard effort cannon back off the crossbar with no-one on hand to apply the finishing touch. The Classics were starting to put better moves together but were still unlucky with some of their finishing.
The best move of the match arrived on the half-hour and a brilliant four man move was wasted as Arcari blasted the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score. Two minutes later the visitors were back in front after a vicious 30 yard blast from Mike Snow sailed over the goalkeeper and finished up nestled in the back of the net. It was Snow's first goal of the campaign. It became 1-3 in the 39th. minute after another Deglan pop from the edge of the box. The shot was going wide but opportunist Cook was on hand to redirect the ball goalwards with a well executed looping header. It was a wonderful goal and one which put the Classics in the driving seat. Still the entertainment wasn't over as Rick Geary got himself in on the goalscoring action three minutes from the half-time whistle. A well directed shot from 15 yards put the icing on the cake after a good attacking half.
Coach Jim Eden did a sterling job of building up Dave Moore for the second half as he gave him the following half-time pep talk, "You know I must be desperate Dave to ask you, but will you go in goals?" Moore was over the moon (with the ball). Ten minutes into the half the Classics hit number five. A short left wing corner from Arcari to Cook was centred into the box. A brave downward header from Billy Ranger gave him his opener for the season. Five minutes later Danny Jensen got his first ever goal for the club with a rasping left foot drive from 20 yards which gave the Aces keeper no chance.
The Aces tried to get back into the game and had a few attacking runs and forced a few corners but the Classics defence held strong. What was to become the 'turning point' of the match happened in the 65th. minute. An attacking move from the Aces ended up with their centre-forward beating all the Classics defenders and then resulted in him bearing down on Moore in the Classics goal. A little rusty from earlier inactivity, Moore was alert enough to defy the Aces a lifeline back into the game. The forward broke unattended into the goalkeepers six yard box and blasted a perfectly weighted goalbound shot to the left of the keeper which had "goal" written all over it. However, no-one on the park expected the instinctive reflex save that was to follow. Stretching his left foot to its extent (and more) Moore diverted the ball onto the right post where it bounced back and was heading dangererously back to the shooter. Moore made it a double save as he hooked the ball away for a corner from his prostrate position. The watching Garry Hackel immediately left for home fully expecting that he may not get back into the side when he eventually returns from injury. There was a little tear in his eye! Enough of that, as no-one likes a big head.
Classics really were a different class to their counterparts and the play became almost of exhibition standard. The final nail in the coffin for the Aces came 20 minutes from time. Deglan received the ball near the centre circle and executed the perfect through ball for Ranger to run on to. It was a perfect through ball as it went perfectly through the legs of the defender and left Ranger on his own. Ranger does not miss those. Contrary to all the post match investigations and the referees report the final score was 1-7 and no more. To their credit the Aces battled away, never gave in, never got downhearted and were gracious in their defeat. The Langley Aces are a credit to the league.
Final Score 1-7 (1-4)
MWG: M. Snow
You were crap award: C. Arcari