Shooting boots left at home again........
The Classics returned from their Christmas break and entertained their old foes BC Transit. This hastily arranged game was only confirmed the day before the event and came as a shock to both teams who were expecting to meet a week later. The Classics had a bare bones team. With injuries, holidays, work and the usual lame excuses they took to the field with just two substitutes whereas their opponents brought enough players that they had to organise a six game knock-out tournament on a local field to help keep their substitute players warm.
The match kicked off on a remarkably good surface considering the amount of rain that had poured in the build up days to the game. Transit could have taken an early lead with a break away in only the second minute but somehow Dave Moore managed to get his leg in the way of the shot to divert the ball to safety. It was the usual ding-dong end to end stuff with chances at both ends but the next real effort came when a Transit forward brought a good fingertip save from Garry Hackel when he tipped the ball over the bar in the tenth minute.
Bruce Cook was dropped back to the centre of defence with Moore, and an injured Ray Marrington took a role up front alongside Bill McAuley. The Classics midfield were gelling well and with the lack of substitutes they were forced to play more simply and smarter than usual. They did the simple things well without trying to overdo it and the style was effective enough to cause all sorts of problems for the visitors. It was a gritty performance.
Five minutes later, a left wing corner from Transit almost brought about a goal. With all the danger men marked, Steve Gollogoly was left unmarked (well it was Gollogoly!). Gollogoly headed the ball down and goalwards but a timely goal-line clearance from Larry Thorlakson snuffed away the threat and left Gollogoly wiping the tears from his eyes with his handkie as he dejectedly headed back to his own half and the relative security of his own penalty box. Had he been playing on a Richmond field he might have even found a hole deep enough to hide in.
The final ten minutes saw the Classics pile on the pressure and Mike Snow was causing havoc with every throw in. Three goal-line chances went begging, one unfortunately when the ball was blatently punched over the bar by the hand of a defender, a move that Michael Jordan would have been proud of and one which went unpunished by the referee who did not witness the incident. McAuley was responsible for some poor finishing and had he been sharper one of his chances would have gone in.
The Classics have now gone two games without scoring but penalties should never be missed and they only have themselves to blame for not punishing the visitors and taking all of the points. They had the better of the chances. There were positives to be taken out of the match as it was a good contest and the Classics held their own. John Wilson was outstanding in a hard working midfield and the forwards held up the ball well while waiting for support.
Kudos was given to the whole of the defence. One Classics midfielder thought that it was the best defensive back line play in recent memory. Praise indeed. All in all it was a good effort by everyone and the future is looking promising with several of the injured players due to make their comebacks in the not too distant future.
Final Score 0-0 (0-0)
C. Arcari missed a penalty
You were crap award: F. Crockett