Eagles drew their first league fixture of the season but could so easily have won the game in the first half had they not spurned a number of good chances with a strong wind at their backs.
Both sides have filled top 3 league places in the last 2 seasons so the result was always going to be close. Eagles gave a first team debut to 16 year old Liam Huckle, and other debuts to newcomers Ryan Ellis and Josh Cranfield.
For the first 20 minutes Belstone could hardly break out of their own half as Eagles applied the pressure. In the opening minutes Iggy Thorpe made a great run down the right flank and his low cross was pushed wide of a post by the onrushing Lee Pateman, Ricky Small just failed to get his head to a cross from Joe Humphries and Den Crook crossed the ball to the feet of an unmarked Sam Gittings only yards from the goal line, only for a defender to get a touch and put the ball wide for a corner.
On 30 minutes Gittings chased a ball down the centre of the pitch beating defenders for speed, but his lobbed shot over the keeper rolled just wide of the goal.. Just before half time Crook shot wide from a Carl Williams corner, and by half time Belstone had hardly mustered a shot on target.
The second half started very differently. The Eagles defence was caught out by a ball over the top and Eagles keeper Brad Gillham was well beaten by a low shot into the corner of the net. Eagles responded within 5 minutes. The Belstone keeper stooped low to punch out a cross from the right but the ball only went to the feet of Jamie Platt who smashed the ball into the back of the visitors’ net. The keeper redeemed himself by a series of excellent saves to deny the Eagles the winner.
Gittings was put clear on goal down the centre by Pateman, but his low shot was blocked by the feet of the keeper. Belstone responded on the counter attack and with Eagles defence caught too far upfield they had a great chance to score when clear on goal, but the ball was blasted high over the Eagles cross bar. Eagles surged back. A low cross from Josh Cranwell cannoned off the shin of Sam Day from 3 yards, and then Day just failed to connect to another cross at the near post.
Belstone went down to 10 men for the last 20 minutes following a spate of mis timed tackles and 2 cautions for the Belstone mid fielder, but Eagles could not take advantage. Cranwell chased down a defender and his shot was well saved by the keeper, who then blocked another shot from Gittings with his legs, so the game ended in honours even.