Surrey Classics FC v Fort United
Denny Ross
26th. September 2010

Weather: Cloudy with heavy rain in the second half
Back in the Old Routine ..........
The Classics followed last weeks season opener at First Capital with the visit of Fort United to Denny Ross. With players away on International duty, they still managed to control the opening stages of the match with some precision passing and neat movement off the ball. Wednesday training is certainly paying off on the fitness side of the team as even Tony Short is now using a faster film in his camera. The deadlock was broken in the twelveth minute of the game after Chuck McGill cleverly dummied the ball and allowed it to roll to Alan Massender. Massender coolly took the ball in his stride and, with perfect timing, struck it with the outside of his left boot to place an unstoppable shot wide of the United goalkeeper. Midway through the first half it should have been 2-0 after Bill McAuley headed the ball across the goal for Chris Arcari to finish the move but his shot was woefully inadequate and was scooped well wide of the goalpost. His explanation that he "didn't want to do an Alfie and blast the ball over the crossbar" didn't go down very well with his playing colleagues after the match.

The second half opened and Garry Hackel almost presented United with an equaliser after a wayward kick out landed right at the feet of one of the opposition. To save Hackel's blushes, the United player shot the ball instinctively, but it sailed safely over the bar and it was a relieved goalkeeper who retrieved the ball back for the dead ball kick. In the 50th. minute another example of fine finishing was displayed from Massender who went on a break away from just inside the Fort half. He cleverly rounded the keeper by pushing the ball to his left and he followed through to plant the ball soundly in the back of the net to give the Classics a 2-0 cushion.

Midway through the second half it was McGill's turn to show some flashes of skill. Again it came from a breakaway but this time the keeper got a hand to his initial shot but the ball bounced up in the air and McGill kept his cool to make sure that it went where he wanted it, and that was the back of the net. Massender got himself into the perfect position to get the teams first hat-trick of the year but somehow he amazingly tripped over the 18 yard line and the moment was gone. We will have to go back to using sawdust to mark out the fields if this occurs again. Rumours were abounding that it was done intentionally so that the wily Scotsman wouldn't have to buy a round after the game but who would ever believe anything like that about a Scotsman?

Minutes later the visitors sprung the offside trap by one of their attackers running through from an onside position while the defence waited for the player who was offside to get blown up for offside. It took an exceptional save from Hackel who had to rush outside his penalty box and chest the ball to Jim Eden who cleared the danger. Hackel more than made up for his earlier misdemeanour. In the 80th. minute, and on a similar breakaway to Massenders second goal, McGill rounded off a fine individual performance with another goal. It was not going to be a 'namby-pamby' walk round the keeper type shot for the big bustling centre forward. Instead, McGill unleashed a howitzer from 25 yards which sailed high and wide into the roof of the net over the advancing keeper. There was no stopping McGill now as he put in one his best performances up front. He lead the line with an authority and used his 'considerable' weight well to dispel any thoughts of the United defence ever getting the better of him.

Special mention must be given to the Classics defence for achieving the first shut-out of the season. It is remarkable that the Classics defence (goalkeeper and back four) that finished the game amassed over three hundred years of age between them and they have a joint total of twenty-one grandchildren. Doug Rosenlund was the rookie of that defence and is responsible for keeping the average age down! Well done to all the team for a spirited display which must now be continued next week in the second of two back-to-back games with Fort United.

Final Score 4-0 (1-0)

MWG: A. Massender
You Were Crap Award: C. Arcari