Caribe Islanders v Surrey FC Classics
Burnett #2 Richmond
25th. January 2004

Classics stifled in below par performance......
This was a game that the Classics will quickly want to forget. Playing a Caribe team whose only previous success had been a drawn game it was expected to be an easy ride. Things are always not what they seem though. A teams mentality must always be strong and each game should be approached with the same attitude but this was one of those games which the Classics expected to win. Not a good idea!

Playing with Tony Short standing in for goal, and playing on a cow pasture of a pitch, the Classics were two goals down within the first half hour. The first was a tap in shot after Caribe had breached the Classics defence and the second goal was a controversial one to say the least. A Caribe forward received the ball standing a least one full yard offside but he took the ball forward and easily beat the advancing (albeit slowly) Short. The remainder of the first half saw the Classics generally chasing shadows and not getting sufficiently involved in the game. Chances were few and far between and the half-time 2-0 score was a fair refelction of the game. It looked like a shock result would be on the cards.

The Classics made a few changes at the half and entered the fray with a more determined attitude. Chances were opening up and they were slowly clawing their way back into the game as they took more control in the midfield but still the goals were eluding them. Midway through the second half it was still 2-0 and it looked like it was going to be one of those games when the goals just wouldnít come.

The breakthrough came 70 minutes into the game when Jim Eden played the ball through to Alfie Deglan in the centre circle. Deglan set off like a steam train and made a powerful run heading towards the right hand side of the penalty box. Spotting Billy Ranger in an unmarked position Deglan threaded a fine square ball through to him. Ranger took the ball in itís stride and finished the move with aplombe. 2-1.

Five minutes later a left wing break from Mike Snow resulted in him placing a perfect centre to the back of the box. Waiting at the back of the box was non other than Ranger, who had the simple task of side footing the ball over the line. This type of goal is Rangerís bread and butter and it brought a huge sigh of relief to the Classics who finally looked like they might get something out of the game.

It was non stop pressure on the Caribe defence from here on and several more chances went begging, as well as the woodwork being made to suffer on a couple of occasions. The best chance fell to Chris Arcari who headed powerfully towards the net only to see his effort come back off Rangerís back. There were a few more goalmouth scrambles which Caribe managed to clear in the remaining few minutes. At the end of the day, Caribe deserved their draw for their doggedness and their determination not to lose. The Classics remain undefeated and Caribe can build on this result and hopefully get that first win under their belt.

Stats:
Yellow card: M. Chipperfield (dissent)
"You Were Crap" award: C. McGill