HERTS SENIOR CENTENARY TROPHY FINAL 22 MARCH 2016
After a spirited first half when Eagles were unlucky go in a goal down, they fell apart in the second half in the face of some excellent play by Bishop Stortford who exploited Eagles weakness in defence.
In the first 20 minutes eagles were the better side. Charlie Thake hit the cross bar with a header climbing high above a static Stortford defence, and then saw a goal bound header from a direct free kick well saved by the keeper made a great save to push the ball past his post. Shane Carthy then blasted a powerful shot from outside the penalty area wide of the goal.
Iggy Thorpe then lost his footing and with the rest of the defence upfield his opponent Gavin Cockman, Swifts leading scorer, gobbled up the chance and made no mistake with a low shot from inside the penalty area giving Dan Goad no chance. Eagles struggled to fight back with Anthony Geary full of running. His shot from distance went just wide of the goal and then his low cross flashed across the Swifts goal. Sam Gittings tried to slide the ball in from close range but shot over the cross bar under a challenge by a defender.Swifts remained dangerous on the break and just before half time Eagles Goad had to make a great save at the feet of the on rushing forward who was clear on goal.
Eagles continued to press after half time and Geary shot just over the crossbar, but on the restart Swifts broke swiftly down the centre, and with no defensive cover Goad rushed out but was unable to reach the ball, which was then pushed into the open goal by Cockman, who soon completed his hat trick with a stunning goal having broken through a gaping Eagles defence.
As Eagles pressed forward gaps opened at the back and Goad was forced to make another good save to deflect the ball wide of the Eagles goal. Eagles tried to press but had no cutting edge in the final third, particularly after leading scorer Thake was substituted. Joe Humphries shot from outside the penalty area whistled over Swifts crossbar but after 77 minutes it was 4-0 when a cross was guided into the Eagles net. Goad made another great save, this time from a direct free kick, but right on time Ricky Small fouled his opponent as he was about to shoot with only Goad to beat, and the penalty was well dispatched into the roof of the net to make it a flattering 5-0 scoreline to Swifts. Eagles poor defensive cover over recent weeks was cruelly exploited by 2 very speedy and skilful Swifts attacking players, and they deserved their victory.