Eagles chalked up their first victory of the new season against newly promoted Knebworth on a difficult pitch in a mid week evening fixture. They failed to reproduce their slick passing of the previous Saturday as the rough playing surface helped defensive errors and discouraged keeping the ball on the ground. In contrast Knebworth proved useful in use of the long and high ball against an eagles defensive line lacking in height.
In the 7th minute Eagles were lucky not to go behind after a dreadful pass out of defence from David Locke was picked up by Knebworth and a blocking tackle from Lewis Mitchell only resulted in the ball running to a Knebworth attacker who blazed well over. However, relief was short lived when Eagles conceded a penalty after a poor tackle by Locke, and Knebworth duly scored from the spot.
Eagles pressed and after 15 minutes Jason Drackford scored a magnificent goal running on to a through ball from Jamie Platt and smashing it into the roof of the net from 15 yards.. He was put through on goal within another couple of minutes but this time the keeper made a comfortable stop, Then a cross from right was headed narrowly wide by Dean Hutchinson when it looked a certain goal. A fierce cross shot from Mitchell Cox was deflected wide by the keeper and it was all eagles. Knebworth had the odd breakout but Eagles kept up the pressure. After 25 minutes a free kick from Rhys Davies found the target but straight to the keeper, and another free kick from Connor Pennery went wide of the Knebworth goal.
Jason Drackford then put the ball in the net only to be rules offside. It was a much debated decision but the goal did not stand. Drackford was caught offside after another promising move just before half time following a useful cross by Platt. Knebworth had an excellent chance just before half time on the counter with a long ball out of defence but the ball was blazed high over the bar.
Half time 1-1 and eagles wasted no time getting stuck into the opposition. On 50 minutes Pennery blazed over a free kick , but 5 minutes later the eagles defence got into a terrible tangle , caught on the break and with goalie Dan Goad challenging for the ball well towards the edge of his penalty area. The ball was eventually scrambled away after being headed away from the goal line by a covering defender.
On 73 minutes a long cross from the left by sub Sam Gittings was headed into the arms of the Knebworth keeper by Platt when a goal looked certain, and a few minutes later Mitchell Cox was unlucky to have his shot blocked after a short corner on the left. Eagles continued to press and Sam Gittings was causing a problem with his direct running at the Knebworth defence. After 80 minutes he was brought crashing to the ground inside the area. Ben L’Honore stepped up to take the penalty but the tall Knebworth keeper made an excellent save low down to his right to deny the Eagles the goal they so richly deserved.
Mitchell Cox headed just wide and the tackles started to fly in as both sides tried to go for the winning goal. Lewis Mitchell was cautioned for a crunching tackle, then Sam Gittings for a block on an opponent.
Eagles had a scare when Goad missed a freekick and Rhys Davies headed off the line, and then Knebworth missed an open goal with a cross headed over the bar rather than on target .L’Honore had a couple of good chances before In the 90 th minute Eagles finally made the breakthrough when the ball was played in from the left and Mitchell Cox managed to bundle it into the net amongst a group of players. 2-1 winners but a very tight game where either side could have grabbed the winning goal.