Polonia v Surrey Classics FC
Hjorth Road 1
28th. November 2010

Weather: Cold and dry with snow around
Classics perform to highest standards ..........
After the cancellation of last weeks game at home to Fort United (again) it was a return to action for the Classics who made their first ever trip to Hjorth Road to play Polonia on the artificial turf field. The last scheduled meeting of these teams resulted in a cancellation as Polonia were struggling for a team at the time. However, this game was set to go ahead and defeated all attempts by the weather to get it cancelled.

There was a lot of early match action at the Polonia end of the field as the Classics mounted wave after wave of attacks on the Polonia defence. Alan Massender had a good left-foot shot saved in the fifth minute and just two minutes later Chuck McGill saw his first time volley sail just over the crossbar. A minute later it was McGill who was unlucky again after his effort from a Pat Rohla corner was skimmed just wide. McGill was in the thick of the action and was making a nuisance of himself to the Polonia defence and in the tenth minute he couldn't just get high enough to steer his header downwards and another header went over.

In the 18th. minute a cracking shot from Gordie Macklin was well saved by the home keeper. Macklin was having a stormer of a game and his penetrating runs were causing all sorts of problems for Polonia. The deadlock was broken in the 28th. minute of the game when a volley was struck by McGill from some 30 yards after he had been nicely played through by Dean Herbert. The volley was deceptive and it looked like the keeper was anticipating it going wide as he never moved to stop the shot. It surprised everyone as it sneaked in by the left hand post to give the visitors the lead that they had richly deserved. Herbert himself was also having a great match with his tackling, occasional attacks and his running back to cover.

The Classics were putting on a great performance against a strong and skillful Polonia side who were being restricted to the occasional, but dangerous, burst forward. The Classics defence were coping admirably and were giving excellent cover for the injured Robbie Keam who had stepped into the goalkeepers role at the last moment. Keam showed his competence by also acting as a second sweeper when needed. Macklin completed a beautiful turn in the 33rd. minute and chipped a delectable shot that put the Classics 2-0 to the good. It was an individual piece of skill that fully deserved the reward of a goal.

In the 37th. minute of the game Alan Massender did his best impersonation of 'Budgie' doing a pole dance as he jumped with the Polonia keeper in a 50-50 ball and tried to head the ball home. However the keeper fell awkwardly and injured his shoulder and was not best pleased with Massender's attempt. His response was irate and he was heard to comment something along the lines of, “Co robi wy obmyslacie was robicie was odurzeni Scotsman? Wy zrujnowaliscie moje ramie udajacy sie dla co 50-50 pilka. Prosze próbuja jest bardziej uwazny po raz nastepny jezeli wy mozecie obmyslac na. obmyslam bede pozostawiac teren teraz.” The referee acknowledged that Massender was perfectly within his rights to go for the ball but the dejected keeper left the field still ranting and raving over the incident. For once, Polonia were playing on level terms with both teams not having their regular keepers in between the sticks.

Another attack by Macklin ended when he ran into the penalty box and fell over like a sack of spuds. The consensus was that he had dived in an attempt to instigate a penalty kick, however the judges on the touch line only awarded a average score of 3.1 and the referee turned away in disgust. It's a wonder he didn't get booked for stimulation – well that sort of thing turns him on. The half-time score of 2-0 was just what the Classics needed and it was a perfect platform to build a victory upon.

It was very unusual for the Classics to begin the second half with the team that started the match but the importance of the match dominated the tactics that had to be employed. No changes were made in the first half and it was a credit to the substitutes on the sidelines that they all volunteered to stay off to keep the momentum of the match flowing. Rohla almost made it 3-0 with an early second half break but his shot was just going wide of the mark. Alfie Deglan raced after the ball in an attempt to steer it home but the speed of the pitch enabled it to run faster than usual and Deglans chase was in vain.

With 'Bambi' Massender having to leave early into the second half to attend 'Disney on Ice' the rotation of players eventually started to evolve. The second half was about consolidation and holding onto the lead and it was a credit to every player who contributed in some way or another. The defence should be given a special mention, as they seldom get credit, as they put in an outstanding performance against a team that are no slouches. The midfield also ran hard to nullify the penetrating runs of the home side and the attack kept beavering away to keep the pressure on the Polonia defence. With the combined efforts of a very impressive team performance and some smart tactical play, the Classics were able to dictate the majority of the play in the second half and restrict the home side to long range efforts which gave Keam little to worry about. Well done to the whole team as it redresses the injustices of last season when Polonia managed to beat the Classics twice under somewhat mitigating circumstances.

Final Score: Quote of the week - "We scored two goals, you scored F-A" - Rick Geary

GK: R. Keam
MWG: C. McGill
You Were Crap Award: G. Macklin (for the dive)