Richmond Pioneers v Surrey FC Classics
McMath #1, Richmond
26th. October 2003

A tale of two reports........
The Classics took on the undefeated Richmond Pioneers at McMath Park. The Classics reverted to their old defence with the twin towers again dominating the middle of the back line due to the leaning tower warming the touchline through injury. The first half was an even affair with chances at both ends. The Classics took the lead in 13th. minute when a corner from Mike Snow was powered in at the near post by a lurking Ray Marrington.

It was just reward as the Classics were pushing the Pioneers and creating good chances. The Pioneers did hit the woodwork but the Classics defence were in no mood to surrender and restricted the opposition to long range shots. The second half was also evenly balanced between the two sides.

The Pioneers equalised midway through the second half through a flukey goal. A right wing corner was left at the near post by Tom Lowe who shouted for Garry Hackel to take the ball. Unfortunately Lowe moved aside and the ball struck Chas Jones and deflected cruelly in at the near post. Hackel was having an inspired game and it was a bitter pill for him to swallow.

Jim Eden went close when a free kick scraped the far post but the result was a fair one in an evenly balanced game where both teams retained their undefeated runs. Martin Chipperfield was sent to the sin bin minutes before the end of the game for persistent mouthing and a slight foul!

.......and from the Pioneers website

Pioneers and Classics battle to 1-1 tie: The Pioneers faced an unbeaten Surrey Classics at McMath with a depleted squad, with three regular starters missing through injury or work. The first half was, for the most part, played in the Surrey end, with the Pioneers pressing and creating many openings. The Pioneers faced some solid goalkeeping, and were unlucky when Eugene Kishmere hit the post after powering his way through the Surrey defence.

While some Pioneer openings were negated by some typically erroneous offside calls from referee Jimmy Sommerville, the Pioneers looked like the team most likely to open the scoring. However, on a rare foray into the Pioneers half, the Classics Ray Marrington scored from a corner kick midway through the first half, with the Pioneers defence indecisive. The Classics held on to their one goal lead going into the half time break.

The second half saw the Pioneers continuing to dominate possession, but Surrey's central defenders were holding firm. The Pioneers misfired with shots from the edge of the area on numerous occasions, and on one clear opportunity, Denis Harvington fired high and wide after being put through by Graham Mason. The Pioneers would finally get the equaliser they so richly deserved when a Harvington corner kick sneaked in at the near post, with the Classics keeper distracted by the presence of Kishmere.

At the other end, Ken Kan and Mike Mogul were having solid games, confidently dealing with anything the Surrey forwards threw at them. The only shots keeper Gary Byrne had to face were two long range free kicks from Surrey's Jimmy Eden. In the latter stages, Surrey's resident goon, Martin Chipperfield, was ejected for a vicious foul on Mason.

The Pioneers pressed hard for the winning goal, but Surrey held firm, and the 1-1 tie was a good result for Surrey, but a disappointment for the Pioneers. All-in-all, a hard fought game between two good teams, with both sides maintaining their unbeaten records. Mogul's Man of the Match: Denis Harvington, with honourable mention to Ken Kan.