HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIVISION
An Eagles side weakened by late withdrawals because of illness, made hard work of beating lowly Hertford Heath, who showed why they are at the bottom end of the table with a long list of suspended players. In a brutal second half they finished with 8 players on the field with 3 sending offs and a shed load of cautions.
The first 20 minutes of the game were uneventful with neither side creating clear cut scoring opportunities, although a header from near the penalty spot went well over the Eagles’ cross bar when better direction would have caused more concern to the Eagles keeper. After 25 minutes Eagles eventually did take the lead through Mitch Cox who received the ball from debutant Charlie Thake and rifled a low shot into the far corner of the net from a tight angle near the edge of the penalty area. Apart from a snap shot from Carl Williams that was straight at the visiting keeper eagles did not trouble Hertford again until just before half time when John Coley broke down the centre of the field and with only the keeper to beat placed the ball too close and the keeper cleared for a corner with his feet..
Before then Hertford got a surprise equaliser after 35 minutes when the Eagles defence retreated and gave a Hertford forward far too much room, allowing him to lash the ball into the net from the edge of the penalty area.
After half time there was not much action until the first visiting player to be sent off tried to head butt Shane Carthy. The game then developed into a bruising encounter, and Eagles began to apply pressure and take advantage of the extra player. A Carl Williams cross from the right was just over the head of onrushing sub Andrew Magadah, allowing the keeper to get a hand to the ball to clear the danger, and then Ricky Small headed over a good chance from about 10 yards out.The deadlock was finally broken after 75 minutes when Thake made another assist, heading on the ball into the path of Williams, who outpaced defenders and neatly lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net.
10 minutes from time Hertford went down to 9 men following a bad foul on Ian West, who soon after had to retire from the game, and then John Coley made it 3-1 when he headed a cross from Cox into the net at the far post. Shane Carthy then ran through the whole of the visitors midfield before pushing the ball too far in front of him and allowing it to be collected by the keeper, and on the stroke of time the third visiting player was sent off after stretching the patience of the match official once too often.