The green, green grass of home........
After the euphoria of last week’s record breaking performance it was back down to Earth for the Classics with a difficult away fixture at Caribe. Caribe’s home field is without doubt the worst in the league. The grass is always uncut and the field has more bumps than all the roller-coaster rides in California put together, so the fixture is always a difficult one. Playing football on such an attrocious surface is more difficult than platting sawdust! By means of a change, this weeks match report will be split into seperate halves and will feature just the highlights.
First half highlights:
Second half highlights: With a Canadian International player watching the game it was a time to impress, especially for Larry Thorlakson as he also had his dog watching. It was one of those games where any goal could easily settle the result. The Classics took the lead in the sixth minute of the second half when Chris Arcari took the initaitive. Seeing the home keeper, who wasn’t a giant in any sense of the word, off his line, Arcari hit the perfect chip which sailed high and dipped perfectly to nestle snuggly in the back of the net. It was just the breakthrough that the visitors needed.
It was 0-2 in the 15th. minute after an Arcari free kick from the centre spot found Jim Eden unmarked on the left side of midfield. Eden set off on a run to the dead ball line and sent over an inch perfect centre to Bill McAuley who was waiting at the far post to head the ball in, which he did competently. It was then a case of missed chance after missed chance with Bruce Cook, Mike Snow and Thorlakson (seven times) making a hash of decent opportunities. It was particularly embarrasing for Thorlakson as he undeservedly got cat-calls from his supposed colleagues every time he missed a goal (and there were lots). He blamed the misses on the state of the pitch which in honesty might have accounted for one or two.
The biggest miss of the day fell to Doug Smith after Cook walked the ball to the goal-line, drew the keeper and laid on the simplest of chances for Smith to tap the ball in. Smith obviously saw the headlines flashing like a "Doug of the Rovers" comic strip but it wasn’t to be! Smith allowed the keeper to get back into place before gently ‘passing’ the ball to him. Even Gordon Banks with his good eye closed would have saved the effort! Sorry Doug, but we’re going to have to rename you "Jigsaw" because you always seem to go to pieces in the box. The third goal never came.
The referee seemed to have it in for "Gentleman Jim" Eden because the ref’s shirt pocket was like a toaster. Every time Eden made a tackle, up popped a card. He collected the full set (two yellow and one red) in a short space of time and he was sent off to take no more part in the game. Funnily enough the last time Eden received a card was in this season’s home game against............you’ve guessed it..........Caribe.
There was a welcome back to action for Tony Short who was testing his long term injury and the early signs are that he may be back to fuller action in the not too distant future. In the end it was a workmanlike performance with the Classics doing what they had to do. Never under any real threat from Caribe, but it was a relief to see the two goals hit the back of the net.
Final Score 0-2 (0-0)
MWG: C. Arcari
M. Soucker equalled G. Hackel's record of 4 consecutive shut outs
Cards: J. Eden - 2 x Yellow, 1 x Red
Team Photographer: T. Short
You were crap award: D. Smith