Giant Panda v Surrey FC Classics
King George Fields, Richmond
23rd. November 2003

Eden bamboos Panda........and they can't bear it!
It was a cold damp morning when the Classics travelled to play Giant Panda at King George Fields. The game was delayed by 13 minutes due to the referee arriving late. Chris Arcari was making his debut for the team. The first half was evenly balanced with the first real chance falling to Ron Jennings in the 7th. minute but his low shot was wide.

In the 15th. minute, Martin Chipperfield in goal made a great save by diving to his left to push the ball away for a corner. A minute later it was deja vu as Chipperfield made the exact same save much to the annoyance of the Panda forwards. The game was not pretty and the heavy field didnít help but Arcari was close two minutes from the half-time whistle when his header just missed the left hand upright.

The second half was only five minutes old before Jim Eden was testing out his left foot but his shot didnít have the power or accuracy to trouble the Panda keeper. A minute later Eden hit another shot high over the bar but the Classics were slowly taking control of the game. In the 56th. minute the Classics were awarded a direct free kick just outside the box. Eden stepped up and hit a shot round the wall which took the keeper by surprise as he was left swatting flies as the ball sailed into the net for the opening goal.

In the 59th. minute a cross from the right was headed on a few times before it fell to Tom Low. His header hit the upright and unluckily bounced into the goalkeeperís hands. The Classics had a let off in the 64th. minute when a rare forage upfield from Panda resulted in a shot which the second half keeper, Hans Erker, could only stand and watch as the ball rattled against the crossbar and bounced back into play. A let off indeed which acted as a warning to tighten up things at the back.

The remainder of the half was played out without incident and the Classics held on for a 0-1 win which just about reflected the balance of play on the day.