HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIVISION
Eagles were guilty of sloppy defending and were soundly beaten by Evergreen despite making the score look respectable with 2 late goals.
Without key defenders because of work commitments and injuries Eagles were slow to settle and went behind after only 5 minutes when Joe Humphries allowed the ball to pass under his foot to an Evergreen player who quickly advanced on goal and scored with ease, giving keeper Dan Goad no chance. Following a break down the centre Goad was then forced to save with hands and feet a shot from 10 yards as Eagles struggled to create any chances of their own at the opposite end. After good work by Josh Coley striker Sam Gittings flashed a shot wide and then Coley shot high over the cross bar when well placed.
After 25 minutes it was 2 -0 to the home side when a cross from the right was headed over Goad from 12 yards by an unmarked Evergreen forward..Eagles immediately responded with a goal of their own following a quick free kick in the centre circle after a foul on Shane Carthy. A shot by George Sarafoudis was blocked but the rebound went to Lewis Mitchell, who hit a low shot into a gaping net from the edge of the penalty area. Eagles almost got a second when a free kick by David Locke caused panic in the home penalty area and the keeper was forced to make a good save to tip the ball over the crossbar after a header by one of his own players looked goal bound.
Eagles pressed after half time and Liam Brooks shot weakly at the keeper from a cross by Coley, and the keeper parried the ball at the foot of his post. Eagles then went further behind after a quick break down the left. Fullback Ian Thorne was beaten for trickery and speed by his opponent and with no covering defenders the ball was crossed low into the centre for an unmarked forward to score easily from 15 yards.
Eagles had a few half chances but in another counter attack after 70 minutes it was 4-1. Goad managed to parry the first shot but the ball ran to a waiting unmarked green and white shirt and it was easily dispatched into an open net. Coley continued to cause Evergreen problems on the right wing with surging runs and tricky footwork, and from one of this crosses Carl Williams almost forced the ball into the net from a few yards out but the keeper managed to get his body behind the ball at his near post to deflect the ball wide.
After 80 minutes it was 5-1 following another defensive error and the game looked over. Only at that point did the Eagles finally raise their game. First Shane Carthy hit a fine rising shot from outside the penalty area into the roof of the net and then the ball was forced into the Evergreen net following a goalmouth scramble close to goal line, with Gittings claiming the final touch . Too little too late and a disappointing defensive performance by the Eagles.