Old foes renew hostilities (in the friendliest of ways) ......................................
It was back in the 2011/12 season that these two teams last met so it was a warm welcome that was extended to Chilliwack, now in the same league, as they made the long trip to visit the Classics. For the second week in succession the kick-off was delayed by about five minutes. Jim Eden was quickly in the action when he conceded an early free kick and the resultant cross landed nicely to an unmakred attacker but, luckily for the home side, he made a complete hash of his effort and it came to nothing. The Classics first real effort came from Jimmy Butler who shot well over the crossbar. A nice right wing run from Gordie Macklin couldn't be finished when he sent over a half decent cross. Willie Dixon sent a great ball in to Jimmy Butler in the ninth minute and he made no mistake as he headed powerfully into the net (see right hand picture below).
So far it was going to coach Short's plan of playing like Real Madrid with their holding and laying off techniques. However, the style couldn't be maintained and the team at times looked more like FALSE Madrid instead of the REAL thing. Chuckaldo McGill was trying his best to play with that special Madrid flair! In the 30th minute a good left wing corner from Macklin went dangerously across the face of the goal but everybody in close proximity completely missed the ball. A minute later it was a right wing break, this time from Butler, who was through on a one-on-one with the keeper but he unbelievably put the ball into the side netting. You would normally bet your mortgage on him scoring. The visitors equalised soon after when a right wing cross eluded Sherman Foster and landed on an attackers head who made no mistake with a cleverly headed goal. Minutes later it was 2-1 to Chilliwack after a wayward cross landed at an attackers feet. The attacker was almost a yard offside but the referee adjudged him to be onside much to the chegrin of the home side. The ball hit his foot and ricocheted past a helpless Dean Herbert who could do nothing but watch the offending escapade in dismay. The visitors went in 2-1 to the good at the half.
The second half began with a great effort from Foster which was followed up by a rocket over the bar from the same player. Herbert was in the thick of the action and showed some good skills with his competent punching which relieved the pressure on the defence in several consecutive incidents. The Classics were back on level terms in the 65th minute after Alan Massender pulled the ball back from the dead ball line to Dixon who stroked the ball home with authority to the unguarded left side of the keeper. A left wing break from Macklin resulted in a corner kick which was kicked off the line into the path of Warren Crowley who looked like he would score but, yet again, his effort was also kicked off the line. At this stage of the game the Classics resembled a slim, flat chested woman.... looking good from the back but nothing up front! Chilliwack countered again and brought another good save out of Herbert - it was end to end stuff. W. Crowley made a good run in the 70th minute and slipped the ball through to Butler who, looking like he was falling, managed to scrape a shot together which had enough power to get itself over the line to put the Classics 3-2 ahead. There has been much talk recently about Liverpool's SAS (Suarez and Sturridge) but the Classics have unearthed their own dynamic duo in WCB (Warren Crowley and Butler).
A corner from the visitors was again punched away to safety from Herbert which brought about the move of the match. Four or five players were involved in a right wing attack which ended when Dixon slipped a delightful chip through which found Butler unmarked with a path to goal. The referee, usually steadfast and reliable, blew for an offside which shouldn't have been. He was definitely in need of a trip to LensCrafters as he was having a stinker by his own standards with several debatable calls. A right wing cross from Macklin, he was covering some ground, in the 76th minute was headed to the right of the post by Butler. The Classics were well on top now and it was surely only a matter of time until they sealed the game with their fourth goal. Alfie Deglan was his usual hustling, bustling self and when he lost the ball he immediately won it back and sent a good effort just over the bar. With seven minutes left of the game some crazy close passing in the box by the defenders lead to Chilliwack 'picking the Classics pocket' and stealing a draw from a game where they should have been buried. The ball was eventually lost and the attacker had the simple option of hammering the ball home high to the right of Herbert who, again, had no chance. Simple rule number one in football is, "If in doubt - boot it out!" Deglan had a chance to win it in the last minute but his shot was balsted over. It was a cruel end to the game but the visitors should be given credit for their spirited 'never say die' attituted which contributed so much to a very enjoyable game.
Final Score: Classics 3 Chilliwack 3 (1-2)
Crap award: A. Deglan