Classics v Italia
Newton Athletic
9th. February 2003

Classics surrender too easily........
This was one of those games to forget for the Classics. Too many players missing combined with a lack of commitment from many players contributed to the worst performance of the season. Gone was the recent "I'd die for this team" attitude and a very below par Classics were 3 goals down with a third of the game gone.

The goals came about by bad defending and the Italians just had to walk around stand in keeper Tony Short and slot the ball in. The Classics pulled a goal back after Dave Moore punted a hopeful ball into the penalty box. Mike Snow put pressure on an Italian defender who scored a remarkable own goal which was a bicycle kick without the theatricals. The revival was short lived as it was 1-4 next when a shot totally eluded Short and crept into the net on his near post. As half time approached another goalbound effort was well saved by Chas Jones but no-one told him that he wasn't in goal. A penalty was the result as well as a walk to the touchline for Jones. Jones was the second player to sit out ten minutes as Billy Ranger had earlier been ejected for fighting.

The penalty was a long time coming as Chuck McGill was arguing that the penalty was not paced out correctly. Eventually the referee paced it out again and moved the ball back another yard. Short made a splendid full length save by diving to his left and pushing the ball to safety. The second half was more evenly balanced but Italia got the fifth to put the game beyond reach. Tempers got a bit frayed and an altercation between Jim Eden and an Italian defender saw them both shown the red card. Bill McAuley pulled a consolation goal back after a free kick was awarded in the penalty area for a back pass to the goalie. The ball was laid across to McAuley who rifled the ball-into the net but it was too little too late.