HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIVISION
Eagles came from behind to beat an excellent Cuffley side, who had previously only lost once in the league this season. Despite driving rain throughout the game both teams mastered the difficult conditions and delighted the watching spectators with some excellent football.
Cuffley started strongly and forced a series of corners in the opening 10 minutes, and it was not until 15 minutes before eagles could muster a shot on target, with Charlie Thake hitting a low shot straight at the keeper from the edge of the penalty area. Cuffley then almost scored when a shot from at least 25 yards hit the Eagles post with debutant keeper Bradley Gillham well beaten. However, joy was short lived when the visitors scored a superb goal from a direct free kick some 20 yards out which bent over the defensive wall and swerved into the corner of the Eagles net.
Eagles stormed back and Thake got the equaliser on the half hour when he managed to regain control of the ball some 15 yards from goal, created space for himself and and easily beat the keeper with a low shot into the corner of the Cuffley net. Both sides pressed but defences remained firm for the remainder of the first half.
Eagles were quick to pick up the pace after the half time interval and Carl Williams shot just wide of the post before Thake again shot low but too close to the keeper who made a comfortable save. He was a constant menace to the Cuffley defence and soon after his delicate chip shot was deflected by a defender on to the Cuffley cross bar, and he headed just wide of the post from a direct free kick when well placed a few yards from goal .
After 80 minutes substitute John Coley took the field to replace his son Josh, for his first game of the season after recovering from a knee injury. He was soon in action, timing his run perfectly to collect a through pass and outpaced chasing defenders, but he scuffed his low shot past the advancing keeper and the ball went well wide of the post. He then turned provider picking up the ball about 10 yards from goal on the left side of the penalty area and providing the perfect low cross for Sam Gittings to side foot the ball home from close range in the dying minutes of the game.