Crowley's Brace Spurs on Classics (match report by Chris Arcari) ..........
The Classics faced an opponent who they played to a 4-4 tie earlier in the year at South Arm field in Richmond - a game in which the Classics did not show their true form. The Classics were buoyed by the return of several players - some back from injuries sustained on the field, others from injuries suffered during their own off-the-field fitness programs, and one from a self-inflicted case of "holy f--k does my head hurt. In spite of fielding a nearly full squad, the Classics started the game slowly, allowing the Pioneers to carry a bit of the early play. The Pioneers early possession did little to break down the Classics defense that was intent on doing its part to put an end to the Classics' uncharacteristic two-game losing streak.
However, just as has been the case in those two losses, the opponents received a bit of good fortune as one of their players found the ball at his feet after a clearing attempt by one Classics defender bounced off another Classics defender. The Pioneer took his chance well and put the guests into the lead. This would be the 5th goal scored against the Classics in the last three games that resulted from misfortune on behalf of the Classics. Shortly after the Pioneers took the lead, Charles McGill, in an attempt to not step on his opponent, fell awkwardly and pulled his groin. Now, one would have thought his groin would be used to that, but this pull was clearly a little different from the other 'pulls' to which his groin is accustomed, ending in a serious injury. McGill, spent a few minutes on the field whilst the Classics players on the field searched the sidelines for the stretcher bearers. Oddly the sidelines seemed empty of volunteers willing to take on the challenge. In a show of sportsmanship, the largest Pioneer, a hulking lad of at least 6' 7" provided the required brawn and assisted McGill part way to the sideline before Dean Herbert (whose return was a breath of fresh air to the Classics) finished the job. One is left to wonder how this injury will affect McGill's 'activities' during his upcoming vacation to Costa Rica.
When the match resumed, the Classics began to control the play. The tentative start was difficult to explain given the challenge provided by the Pioneers in the game before Christmas and the new, and seemingly much younger, players they travelled with on this occasion. The Classics were rewarded for their efforts when Alan Massender flicked on a Randy Hosler corner kick. The ball fell nicely to Warren Crowley who very calmly and firmly left-footed the ball between the goalie and a defender.
The referee found it a bit of a chore to keep up with the play, so when he blew his whistle - often from afar - it was difficult for some players to distinguish whether the whistle was coming from him or the adjacent pitch. In fact, on two occasions with the opponents attacking, an errant whistle from the other field caused one of the Classics defenders to simply stop dead in his tracks. "Play to the whistle" is a term often used in football, but this defender was clearly becoming confused. It should be noted this defender recently returned from visiting a buddy in Phoenix, retirement haven of the Canadian snowbirds. One would have thought a recommendation from his buddy on a hearing aid might have been appropriate. In order not to offend this defender I will only report his initials . . . L-rry Th-rl-ks-n.
The Classics took a well-deserved 2-1 when Mike Stuart, who is rounding in form nicely, pounced on a loose ball and sent a pass into the box to a waiting Warren Crowley. Crowley, again showing impressive poise (yeah, I'm sucking up to him because I lost my cool, once again, and yelled at him on the field later in the game) neatly slotted the ball home with a low drive into the corner of the net to complete his brace. Half time score: Classics 2 Pioneers 1
The second half evidenced 45 minutes of hard work by the Classics. They were clearly intent on avoiding a three-game league losing streak, something that hasn't occurred in at least ten years. The Classics third goal was a thing of beauty. A free kick from Danny Jensen was perfectly placed onto the noggin of Alan Massender who, despite being aggressively challenged by two Pioneer defenders, knocked the ball down to Gordie Macklin. Macklin, who always seems to be in a supporting position, collected the ball and left-footed it beyond the goalie's reach for a 3-1 Classics lead. That would end the scoring for the day. The Classics were full value for the victory. The entire squad worked extremely hard to limit the opponent's time and space with the ball. Nothing came easily for the visitors, and it is how the Classics should approach their final two games of the year (both home tilts against Delta teams). Kudos to Jimmy Eden for managing the sideline and providing the grub (fabulous roast beef, coleslaw, pickled red onions, etc.)
News Flash from Oldham: A 3-bedroom hardly-used home can now be bought for 35,000 pounds. [It's a four bedroom not a three bedroom as the following link will attest - ED]
Final Score: Classics 3 Pioneers 1 (2-1)
MWG: Warren Crowley
Crap Award: Awarded by Danny Jensen to Larry Thorlakson. Thorlakson, on one of his forays into the offensive zone took a shot from about the six-yard line and it went out for a throw-in at about the six-yard line. Also contributing to Thorlakson's earning of the Crap Award were the aforementioned stoppages in play when the whistle was being blown on the other field. Apparently, he was hearing whistles well after the full 90 minutes had been played. Thorlakson, became quite defensive upon receiving the award. When leaving the post-game festivities, he was heard to be muttering something about the Canadian Charter of Rights and discrimition based on age and disability. It is said he pursued a legal opinion regarding a Human Rights challenge, but as of press time his lawyer indicated he had no challenge, that this was simply a case of elder abuse.