A game to forget...
The Classics stumbled out of the starting blocks for this game. Play was disjointed with too many passes going astray and the visitors brought the game to the hosts with a much better work ethic and lots of hustle and bustle. A ninth minute flare up occurred after the visiting number four went in much too hard on Gordie Macklin. Not wanting to be thought a shrinking violet, Macklin gave him one back to which he rushed at Macklin to take the matter further. It was a classic case of 'if you can't take it, don't give it out'. The Classics were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box on the quarter-hour mark. Danny Jensen took the responsibility and fired in a goalworthy shot which hit a defender on the arm but the penalty appeals were waved away. The ball fell to Lorenzo Arcari who struck the ball wide of the right post. A right wing corner in the 23rd. miinute came out to Macklin who sent his shot sailing over the bar. Just past the half-hour mark Sherman Foster was unlucky when his header from a free kick delivery scraped past the left post. The Strikers were making a nuisance of themselves with some strong running and had a few half chances but the majority were either wide or directed straight at Judd Boxtart. Gene Crowley was having a stormer at full back and kept the advancing Strikers at bay with a string of decisive headers and well times tackles.
The visitors had a major share of the play with the Classics struggling to string their passes together, or uncharacteristically getting knocked off the ball by the perky Strikers. Another chance went begging after Pat Rohla curled over a centre which Chris Arcari headed downwards and wide of the upright. In the third minute of injury time, Gino Nonni made a break through but the ball eventually ran away from him. A defender picked up the loose ball and delivered a suicide backpass to his keeper but Willy Dixon nipped in to stroke the ball home from close range. This incident resulted in a fracas among the visitors with tempers and fists flying at each other in an unsightly skirmish. The referee blew the whistle for half time to allow the visitors time to calm down. The end to the half couldn't come quick enough for the Classics who were lacking their usual authority and composure in what was a very poor display of footballing skill. In reality, the Classics were 1-0 up, even though they probably didn't deserve the lead. One of the opposition came over to distribute some dates to the Classics and many took up the offer as they hadn't had a decent date for some time.
The side line looked like a high school reunion with regular spectators Fisher Crockett, Rick Geary and Tony Short being joined by old boys Les Horvath and Billy Ranger who had come out to swell an already larger than usual crowd. The second half kicked off and in the 48th. minute Rohla did an intelligent throw in to Butler who was unmarked in the box. Butler turned and shot goalwards and the visiting keeper pushed the ball away for a corner on the right. Rohla took the corner and found Foster's head but once again it his one of the square bits and deflected over the bar. Boxtart earned his corn in the 62nd. minute with a great double save, which showed his athelticism, as he got down low twice in succession to keep out the marauding Strikers' attack. The 53rd. minute witnessed another throw from Rohla, this time to Warren Crowley who whipped over a dangerous cross which found Dixon's head. Dixon rose like a salmon in mating season to execute a header that was staright out of the top drawer - it gave the team just the fillip it needed to go on and finish the game.
W. Crowley was the reciprient of another good cross from 'twinkletoes' Rohla in the 61st. minute but his effort came to nought. Instead of forging on, the Classics sat back in an effort to contain the Strikers and it backfired in the 71st. minute. A short right wing corner by the visitors was worked inside and, after a period of pin-ball shots, one of the attackers blasted the ball into the bottom corner which evaded a bevy of players in the box and gave the Strikers a life-line. W. Crowley had another attempt three minutes from time but his effort was again tipped round the post. Jim Eden sent over a left wing corner and W. Crowley again went close but the Classics managed to hang on for a worthwhile but hard fought victory on a day which was better forgotten except for the odd flash of genius. It must be mentioned that Macklin had a very influential effect on the result with his tireless running and constant harrassing of the opposition.
MWG: W. Dixon
Crap Award: G. Nonni