HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
For the second week running Eagles plundered six goals against weaker opposition, but failed yet again to keep a clean sheet because of defensive frailties.
Eagles opened brightly with 2 goals in the first 15 minutes.First Josh Butina snaffled a goal from close range when the keeper dropped a corner kick, and then loan player Liam Brooks set up Sam Day to score a second. This was hard on the visitors who had their own chances to score in the opening minutes. A shot was deflected just wide of a post by an Eagles defender and the inswinging corner just failed to find the net at the far post.
Eagles keeper Bradley Gillham had to leave the field after 15 minutes after sustaining a serious back injury following a heavy challenge that went unpunished, and the first act of his replacement Sam Swanton was to pick the ball out of the Eagles net when a direct free kick found an unmarked Evergreen forward, who easily scored with a low shot from 10 yards..
Eagles enjoyed some sustained pressure and a series of corners before Joe Humphries headed one into the net from close range on the half hour. Evergreen wilted and soon after a Butina dash down the centre was brought to an abrupt end by a poor tackle just inside the penalty area. Carl Williams put the penalty kick too close to the keeper, who made a good save low to his left to push the ball round the post.. Ricky Small volleyed the ball wide from a corner but there was little respite for the visitors and Brooks scored just before half time.
After half time Day found the net but the goal was ruled out for offside, and Small was unlucky to see his powerful header from a corner hit a defender on the goal line and bounce clear. The Evergreen goal seemed to bear a charmed life as a number of half chances went begging. The keeper made a great save from a snap shot by Williams from outside the penalty area that looked as if it was heading for the top corner of the net, and he then made a superb save to push wide a powerful shot by Brooks.
The visitors tried to catch Eagles on the break and keeper Swanton had to make an excellent save from a low shot from 8 yards with Eagles defenders vainly looking for an offside flag. The fifth goal came from a keeper error when a tame shot from Williams from the edge of the penalty area went through his arms into the net. Butina then raced down the centre of the field and almost beat the keeper in a race for the ball, outpacing chasing defenders, but against the run of play in the final 10 minutes Evergreen got their second goal with a low shot from 12 yards which Swanton got his hand to but could only palm into the corner of the net. Eagles finished the scoring with a strong shot from 20 yards by Jamie Platt.
Next week the two teams have to repeat in the game, this time in the first round of the Aubrey Cup.