HERTS SENIOR CENTENARY TROPHY 1ST ROUND
Eagles shocked the Cod from Spartan South Midland division 1 with a well earned victory and now progress to the second round of the competition.
Eagles almost went ahead in the first 5 minutes when leading scorer Sam Gittings latched on to a pass down the centre, outpaced chasing defenders and placed the ball wide of the advancing keeper and the post. Eagles keeper Dan Goad had to be alert to danger, blocking a shot with his feet almost on his goalpost when Cod broke quickly down the left, and there was some panic in the Eagles penalty area as the ensuing corner was not immediately cleared. Joe Tyler for Cod then went close, blasting the ball into the side netting from a narrow angle.
Eagles got their reward for some stout defending when on 35 minutes Shane Carthy was fouled but managed to put an inch perfect pass down the centre to the feet of John Coley who coolly ran 20 yards, beat defenders including the keeper and shot into an empty net. Eagles added to their lead a few minutes later when a low Coley cross was steered into the net from near the penalty spot by Den Crook.
Codicote were quick out of the blocks after half time piling on the pressure, but although the Eagles goal had some narrow escapes they survived the initial surge. Codicote did get the ball in the net but the goal was ruled offside. Den Crook then made a great saving tackle as a goal seemed certain and when Cod got clear on goal again after 70 minutes Goad made a good blocking save.
Eagles lost Lewis Mitchell from central defence to injury after 75 minutes but Sam Williams proved an able deputy. Eagles soaked up the pressure and relied on breakaways as Cod pushed players forward. A few minutes from the end Carthy had a great chance to put the game to bed when he raced clear on the right, but then shot wide from 12 yards with the goal at his mercy.
Eagles managed to see out the final minutes and earned a deserved victory over a disappointing Cod performance.