HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Eagles had much the better of the first half but high flying Hatfield proved a difficult nut to crack and eventually both sides had to be content with a draw.
Two early chances fell to the Eagles when Shane Carthy broke clear on the right but opted to pass to Sam Gittings rather than shoot for goal, and the chance was gone. The Hatfield keeper then had to push the ball over his cross bar from an inswinging corner by Mitch Cox which almost crept in at the far post, and had push wide a free kick from Cox after a foul on Anthony Geary. Paul McGennity headed wide of a post after another Eagleses corner as Eagles easily had the best of the first half hour but could not convert chances into goals, but after 35 minutes they finally got the important first goal when a low shot from Shane Carthy from outside the penalty area was diverted into the net by Gittings. The same player almost got a second a few minutes later when he volleyed a shot from 25 yards which the keeper was forced to parry before clearing the ball.
On half time Eagles were nearly undone in a rare Hatfield attack when keeper James Gilbert had to make a great diving save to push aside a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area. This led to a short period of intense pressure on the Eagles goal before the half time whistle gave them some relief.
In the second half a physical Hatfield side dropped deep and bullied Eagles forwards into making errors. Striker Sam Gittings in particular came in for some rough punishment which the match official did little to protect him from. Hatfield relied on the counter attack and on 60 minutes got the equalising goal. Gilbert in the Eagles goal made two stunning saves but after conceding the third corner the ball was headed home from the penalty spot with no Eagles defender picking up the Hatfield player. Hatfield nearly got a second 5 minutes later when Eagles centre back Ricky Small was outpaced down the centre but the shot was placed well wide.
After this neither side created any clear chances. In the last 15 minutes Eagles constantly attacked the visitor’s goal. Paul Mc Gennity was unlucky to see his header from a Carl Williams cross head for the top corner of the net, only for the keeper to pull off a great save to tip the ball wide of goal. A fierce Gittings shot from 20 yards flashed just over the cross bar with the keeper beaten but it took another fine diving save by Gilbert in the home goal in the dying minutes to keep the game all square.