HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
The Eagles were well beaten by Whitwell, currently second in the league table, after fielding a side weakened through illness and late withdrawals.
The home side almost went ahead in the first couple of minutes of the game when Eagles keeper Dan Goad had to make a fine save to palm over a close range header after a cross from the right eluded Eagles defenders.
Eagles responded and a cross from Charlie Joy was headed into the keepers arms by Jamie Farrar after 10 minutes when a better placed header would probably have opened the scoring.. Sam Gittings caused panic in the Whitwell defence with a strong run down the centre on to a long ball from Ricky Small but was eventually hustled off the ball by covering defenders. The keeper then had to push wide a shot from 20 yards by Jamie Farrar as eagles pressed. A fierce shot from distance by Mitchell Cox was deflected wide by a defender, but despite enjoying the better play Eagles suddenly went behind after 25 minutes when a cross from the right was prodded in to the net from a few yards out with Eagles cover going missing.
This stayed the score up to half time with no side really creating any clear cut chances, but Whitwell came back with clear intent to finish off the game. After 5 minutes of the second half Goad had to make a sharp save at the foot of his post and a again a few minutes later, before Farrar blocked a goal bound shot.. Whitwell eventually then got their reward for constant pressure when a shot from the edge of the area whistled into the top corner of the eagles net giving Goad no chance.
Eagles tried to rally with a fierce shot from the edge of the area by Small finding the mid riff of the keeper rather than the net, and then Gittings blazed over when well placed from a pass by Mitchell Cox. After 67 minutes Gittings almost scored with a shot from 10 yards after beating two defenders but shot too close to the keeper who comfortably saved the effort..
After a good spell of Eagles pressure Whitwell then broke away to score their third after 75 minutes with a break down the centre of the field and another hard hit shot from the edge of the penalty area as eagles defenders retreated and failed to close the player down.
Whitwell scored a fourth about 5 minutes from normal time when a Whitwell forward shrugged off a weak challenge from Ryan Setterfield and took advantage of absent defensive cover to score from 8 yards.
Eagles tried for a consolation goal and Jamie Platt should have scored but blazed over the bar when well placed.
At the end it was all too easy for the home team as Eagles resistance crumbled in the last quarter of the game.