HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIVISION
Eagles struggled to break down a dogged defence until late in the game when 2 goals saw them go on to a comfortable win against opponents weakened by the unavailability of players and with little ambition to threaten in the Eagles half of the pitch.
In one of the early skirmishes Eagles keeper Dan Goad gave supporters an early fright when he dropped a free kick from near the left touchline but no Sandridge player was quick enough to poke in the loose ball.
Mitch Cox almost opened the scoring for the Eagles after 10 minutes when he headed a cross from Sam Gittings just over the crossbar from 6 yards out with the goal gaping, and there then followed a period of desperate defending by Sandridge . John Coley broke through the away defence and passed to an unmarked Gittings who easily shot low into the net, but the goal was disallowed because of an offside decision against Coley. On the half hour Paul McGennity flashed a powerful header just over the cross bar from a precision corner by Cox and then Gittings headed into the keepers arms from another Cox corner .
After half time relentless Eagles pressure finally wore down Sandridge and on the hour Gittings shot low into the far corner of the net from a few yards out near the far post from a Cox corner. Cox was causing Sandridge defenders real problems with his pin point accuracy on crosses and on one occasion the ball bobbled around the visitors’ penalty with no Eagles player able to apply the finishing touch.
On 80 minutes Shane Carthy burst through a tiring Sandridge defence but went for power and the shot from edge of penalty area just passed over the crossbar. Eagles pressed forward looking for a second goal to kill off the game and it arrived when Cox capped a fine performance by scoring from 5 yards with a low shot into the corner of the net after receiving an incisive pass from Lee Pateman. Pateman was enjoying an excellent last final minutes and could have scored himself after a fine passing move with Dami Fajiobi, but shot well over the crossbar.
The drama had not finished when 5 minutes from the end Sandridge finally decided to attack the Eagles goal, and when they broke clear down the centre Eagles keeper Goad was judged to have brought down his opponent as he rushed to block the ball on the edge of the Eagles’ penalty area. He was cautioned and the penalty missed as the low shot hit the outside of the foot of the post to spin away to safety. Den Crook then put the ball into the Sandridge net but was ruled offside, and Fajiobi just failed to force the ball home at the foot of a post as the game finished with more Eagles pressure.