Eagles crash at Mill End Sports
On a cold Saturday afternoon Eagles made the long trip to Rickmansworth to play a team they had beaten at Pixmore earlier in the season 4-0, but once again displayed a lack of consistency and a fragile defence.
The first half was not much to write about, with neither side really testing the goalkeepers. Things livened up closer to half time when the ball flashed across the Eagles penalty area with no home player being able to apply a finishing touch, followed by a timely collect from Eagles goalie Dan Goad from a long ball down the middle which caught the eagles defence half asleep. A direct free kick from Mill End whistled wide and Eagles were glad of the half time whistle..
Eagles improved early second half despite some very physical tackling from Mill End tolerated by some lenient refereeing, but after 55 minutes Mill End scored after a corner was cleared by Goad’s fist but only to the edge of the area . The ball was returned into the middle for a simple headed goal.. Within a couple of minutes Mill End scored again from a break on the left leaving an exposed defence. Goad advanced to block the anticipated shot but instead the ball was lobbed coolly over his head and into the net from 25 yards..
At last eagles woke up and started to apply real pressure. Sam Gittings forced the Mill End keeper into a good blocking save from close range and when the ball came back out to him blazed over from less than 10 yards out.. The equalising goal finally came from Mitchell Cox who floated a direct free kick into the penalty area but instead of finding an eagles head the ball sailed over the goalie into the top of the net. Gittings had another chance a few minutes later from a clever Ben Antcliff back heel on the goal line but again shot well over. Jason Drackford then broke clear down the centre of the field, looking suspiciously offside, but he placed the ball just wide of the post with only the goalie to beat.. From a corner kick Hunter Diack then nearly scored the goal of the season with a superb overhead kick which the keeper just managed to push on to the crossbar and over..
As Eagles pressed forwards it left gaps at the back and after 85 minutes the inevitable happened when the lively Mill End no 9 broke quickly out of defence, outpacing eagles defenders and giving Goad no chance with a low shot into the corner
Drackford almost scored following a jinking run through a packed Mill End defence and shot just wide, but the drama was not over because in 89th minute Eagles were awarded a penalty for handball. Regular penalty king Mitchell Cox stepped up and hit the post low into the corner, and the final opportunity for eagles to force a tight finish was lost.