The Classics returned to action after the long Christmas layoff with a home game to new opposition in the Point Gray Legends. It was a usual blustery Cloverdale day and, after winning the toss, the Classics chose to play with the wind at their backs. This was probably due to all the food and beverage consumed over the holiday period! The opening encounters were evenly balanced with a couple of early chances falling to the home side but they were off target. The leg ends (sorry Legends) took the lead in the tenth minute after some ditheryness in the Classics defence which allowed the visitors to stroke home giving Garry Hackel no chance. Ten minutes later, a moment of hesitation from Ray Marrington allowed another Legends attacker to steal in and rob him of the ball before hammering their second goal of the game. Not the sort of start that the Classics are used to.
The Classics upped their game and Mike Snow was very unlucky to see his long range effort clip the crossbar at the back of the goal with the Legends keeper totally beaten. Chances also fell to Bruce Cook and an unusually shot-shy Chris Arcari but all came to nought. A free kick was awarded to the home side on the half hour mark about a yard outside the penalty box in the centre of the goal. Danny Jensen lined up the ball waiting for a direct shot on goal. A Legends defender encroached towards the ball in a delaying tactic and was asked to retreat by the referee. All this hesitation and time wasting was being registered by a Classics player who also observed a hole in the wall which was the size of a thread-hole in a needle. Taking one of the biggest gambles of his life, Dave Moore cheekily ran up and calmly drove the ball delicately through the hole with his left foot whilst cleverly curling it away from the reach of the visiting goalkeeper to give the Classics a life-line. Moore nonchalantly strode back to his position for the impeding kick-off while his dumbfounded team-mates where scratching their heads and trying to work out who had scored the goal! What makes this goal even more extraordinary is that this was the first 'directed at goal' free-kick taken by the long standing player in his career with the Classics. No wonder no-one could work out from whence it came. Minutes later, a very long range effort from Moore (what two shots in one game) almost caught the keeper unaware but he rose high to gather the ball and relieve the pressure.
The second half was a different tale with the Classics all over the visitors. Good chances were falling like snow on a white Christmas eve but again, the Classics could not convert any of their superiority into what mattered - goals. Kenny Johnson was working hard with Cook up front. Jim Eden came on to add his weight to the proceedings and several chances arose, mainly from some good work down the flank from Pat Rohla. He was in dynamic form but his great centres were unfortunately uncapitalised upon. The longer the game endured, the more it looked like the Classics would not score again. In the remaining ten minutes of the game, Jensen was move up front leaving a back three of Moore, Fisher Crockett and Chas Jones. The move almost paid dividends as one centre from Eden fell to the feet of Jensen who was just a yard off the goal-line. Unfortunately, Jensen stumbled and went down like a bag of spuds leaving the ball to be cleared.
Snow, Larry Thorlakson, Rick Geary and Alfie Deglan were working tirelessly, trying to create chances and having the odd pop at goal too but it was going to be one of those days. The Legends weathered the storm and held out for a very good victory. All credit to them as they set out their stall in the second half to contain, and contain they did. No arguments in the end. Classics played well, outgunning the opposition but in the final analysis they couldn't do what they had to do - score the same or more goals than the Legends.
Final Score 1-2 (1-2)
You were crap award: G. Hackel - self appointed