The Classics entertained Point Grey Thistle on their 'reserve' field at McMillan Island. Thankfully, a visiting girls team had already bashed down the many mole hills and the field was looking just about almost pretty average. The last time the teams met was the opening match of last season when goals from Chris Arcari and Jim Eden salvaged a point at Sunnyside Park. This game got away to a blistering start when a left wing centre from Danny Jensen was badly contolled by Billy Ranger. However, Ranger chased the ball out wide to the left of the keeper and turned back inside to lay a delightful ball to the back post where Jimmy Butler was waiting to pounce. Butler left no stone unturned and blasted the ball high above the keeper and into the roof of the net to give the Classics a first minute lead.
Minutes later Butler was again on the ball but this time he hooked the shot wide. In the 7th. minute another home attack resulted in Billy McAuley shooting the ball goalwards. The shot was deflected and powered into the net to give the Classics a 2-0 lead. In the 9th. minute Alfie Deglan was unlucky when his chipped shot was just too high to outsmart the Thistle goalkeeper. A minute later Fisher Crockett linked well with the forwards and a left wing run resulted in a pass to Arcari on the edge of the box. Arcari cleverly chipped a first timer through to Ranger but his shot was wide.
Bruce Cook entered the field in the 15th. minute and could have had an immediate impact but instead he had an immediate miss. A minute later the Classics stamped their authority onto the game with a third goal. It was that man Butler again who this time, displayed another part of his finishing repertoir when he chipped a beautiful goal to the top right hand corner of the post to leave a bemused Thistle keeper wondering just what was happening. The remainder of the half was a game of of masters and slaves with the Classics rarely threatened by the Thistle, who had to pull out all the stops in a defensive rearguard. When Chas Jones entered the field, after a long injury layoff, he was immediately called upon to make 'one of those decisions' on a 50-50 ball. Did he go, or bottle out? He went, but the tackle resulted in him injuring his foot and he had to leave the field again in the space of 40 seconds, thus beating the world famous Rick Geary Chilliwack record.
Editors note: "Never go for a 50-50 ball unless you are 60-40 sure of winning it."
The second half began in similar vein to the first with Butler blasting over the keeper and into the net for the fourth goal, just three minutes after the whistle. It was a well deserved hat-trick for Butler and one which increases his record goalscoring feat for the season. Ten minutes into the second half Jim Eden was dreadfully unlucky to see his long range shot cannon down from the crossbar and get cleared, and a minute later the usually deadly Ranger missed his fourth good chance to get in on the scoring. It was becoming one way traffic now as the home side took the game by the scruff of the neck and began to show a dominating streak, a trait missing for several previous games.
The Thistle pulled a goal back on the hour mark when a bad call from Chuck McGill allowed an attacker to muzzle in and squeak a soft goal past Garry Hackel to make the scoreline 4-1. Five minute later the game was put beyond any doubt when Danny Jensen sneaked in at the back post for the simplest of tap-ins to make it 5-1 and thereby kill off any hopes that the Thistle had of getting back into the game. Minutes later Eden had the chance to increase the lead with a free kick but his effort was too weak and hardly troubled the visiting keeper.
Crockett was having a terrible time keeping his feet but he gave a wonderful impersonation of a corkscrew to please the fans, which included ex-stalwarts Hans Erker and Martin Chipperfield who had visited on the day. The corkscrew began with Crockett (aka Zebedee) starting to fall to the floor in a circular motion. As he got closer to the floor the screw effect became closer and closer to the focal point and it ended up with Crockett completely disappearing down a mole hole head first. He eventually resurfaced on the adjacent field and nearly scored for the girls team. It was the third time that the full back had fallen over and maybe it's finally time he gave up the demon drink once and for all!
Now back to the action - twenty minutes from the end of the game came a rasper of a shot from Jensen who controlled the ball and set it up for a left foot volley from 25 yards which left the keeper rooted to the spot as he watched the ball whistle past him and firmly into the back of the net. It was a peach! Five minutes later Deglan got in on the scoring act also to make it 7-1. Cook and Ranger both worked hard but Cook needs a goal to perk up his confidence. It should come soon.
With 15 minutes remaining it was decided to give goalkeeper Hackel a run out in a full back position. Dave Moore took over in goal and what a caffuffle it caused. Moore, put his keeper shirt on back to front. With both sides waiting and watching he took it off again but this time one of the sleeves was inside out and he couldn't correct it without taking his gloves off. Eventually the referee blew for play to resume as around 14 minutes had been wasted by the incident. It was now that the Thistle started to become an attacking force and they could have pulled a couple of goals back, but Moore and his defence did well enough to keep them at bay and the game ended as a resounding 7-1 win for the home side.
Final Score 7-1 (3-0)
Hat Trick: J. Butler
MWG: B. McAuley