HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Despite playing on a pitch saturated by heavy rain just before kick off, Eagles managed to return to winning ways with an emphatic win over mid table Bushey Sports
In the first 10 minutes there were few goal scoring chances as both sides tried to adapt to the pitch conditions, but soon after Eagles took the lead with a flowing move down the right flank involving Joe Humphries and Ian ‘Iggy’ Thorpe, whose low cross was banged home by Sam Gittings from 10 yards. A few minutes later Bushey equalised with a messy goal after Eagles keeper Michael Johnson pushed wide a low shot but was unable to stop the ball being scrambled over the line from close range. The ball was cleared by an Eagles defender but the goal awarded following consultation between the referee and the assistant referee.
Just after the half hour Eagles got their noses ahead with a goal from Paul McGennity, who made sure that a header from Humphries would cross the goal line, and a minute later Gittings got his second goal hitting the ball into the net via the underside of the bar from close range. Eagles were lucky not to concede another goal just before the break when Bushey missed a sitter from 5 yards out. Instead of pushing the ball into an open net with no defenders in close proximity the scuffed shot hit the base of the post and was cleared upfield.
Eagles opened brightly in the second half. A Den Crook free kick was blocked by the defensive wall but the ball rebounded to Shane Carthy whose half volley from the edge of the penalty area went just wide of the Bushey goal. Eagles then missed several chances to go further ahead. First Carl Williams got himself into a shooting position but his shot carried no power and was easily collected by the keeper, and then Humphries stooped low head a cross straight at the keeper. Gittings almost managed to reach a ball from Charlie Thake behind the Bushey defence before it was gathered by the keeper.
Bushey attacked on the counter and Johnson was forced to make a great save, low to his left to deflect a goal bound shot. Eagles lived dangerously for a few minutes as they failed to clear their lines from a series of crosses from the right wing, but managed to survive the pressure. Thake had a shot from 20 yards pushed wide of the post by the Bushey keeper and on 75 minutes almost scored with a lob shot over the onrushing keeper from at least 25 yards out which floated just wide of the goal. Eagles did score soon after when Thake was unable to find a way through the Bushey defence but managed to lay the ball off to Carthy, who hit a low shot into the net of the foot of a post. Thake then added to the score with a powerful low shot from outside the penalty area, and debutant Ricky Young made it six when he was left clear in space by a ball over the top of the Bushey defence , and neatly beat the keeper to shoot into an empty net. Young then put Thake clear on goal, but his shot from 6 yards was parried by the keeper to keep the score down to a baker’s half dozen. A great way for the Eagles to start 2016.