Stingers v Surrey FC Classics
Delview Park
28th. September 2003

A tale of two keepers........
The ill fated Premier League finally got under way for the Classics with a trip to Stingers. Stingers came out firing on all cylinders looking for an early lead. A few close shaves came to nothing with the Classics defence continually catching the opposition off side. A foul by Dave Moore gave the Stingers an early chance when from the resulting free kick the ball eventually hit both posts before being blasted away by Martin Chipperfield.

Larry Thorlakson was unlucky to have a seemingly good goal disallowed for a foul, a strange decision as play on had already been given. Stingers did take the lead in the 10th. minute after a poor clearance from Garry Hackel went to a Stingers forward who cleverly chipped over Hackel for the opener. More chances fell to both teams but the game remained 1-0 at half time.

The Classics came out for the second half in more determined mood and in the 55th. minute they finally got the goal that their play deserved. A well worked move saw Billy Ranger break away down the left side and, after his usual twisting and turning (he should be named Chubby Checker) he scored a fine goal in typical Ranger style. The match winner came 11 minutes from time and what a bizarre goal it was. Doug Smith pressurised a Stingers defender some 30 yards out on the touchline. The defender opted for a back pass to his goalkeeper but the keeper, not being in a position to pick up the ball, kicked aimlessly at the ball. The ball was trickling slowly across the face of the goal and, with the keeper looking like he was skating on ice with a pair of slippers on his feet, the ball eventually rolled into the goal to the despair of the Stingers and the jubilation of the Classics.

Stingers piled on the pressure for the last 10 minutes, winning several corners in the process, but the Classics coped well enough and held on for a well fought victory. With the Premier League being disbanded the Classics may well record that, as founder members, they won every game.