HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIVISION
Eagles shared the points and some spectacular goals in an excellent entertaining game at Wodson Park.
The first 15 minutes of the game were fairly even with neither side creating any goal scoring chances, when Eagles Jamie Platt received the ball from a cushioned pass by Kane Dougherty to curl the ball from 20 yards into the net off the crossbar, the goal being awarded by the assistant referee.. Ware hit back and wasted two good chances shooting wide of a post and blazing the ball over the eagles cross bar when well placed to get a shot on target. At the other end Sam Gittings low shot from 15 yards was only gathered by the keeper at the second attempt with no Eagles player close enough the poke the ball home as the shot was spilled. Josh Cranwell was unlucky to shoot straight at the keeper and then Ware equalised with a spectacular goal. Left unchallenged to run from his own half that Ware player let fly from over 20 yards and his shot crashed into the net giving Eagles stand in keeper Paul McGennity no chance of saving.
Just before half time Ware should have scored a second with two forwards facing a single Eagles defender, but McGennity made an excellent save with his legs to push the ball wise. Eagles swept down the other end of the field and Mitch Cox scored with a magnificent shot from fully 30 yards which flew in an arc over the head of the stranded keeper and into the top of the net.
After half time Ware soon equalised when Eagles’ skipper Ricky Small clearly fouled his opponent in the penalty area, and the penalty was neatly dispatched down the centre of the goal with McGennity diving for the corner.
Cox was just wide with a direct free kick from 20 yards as Eagles struggled to respond. Another direct free kick by Carl Williams was heading for the top corner of the net before the home keeper made an excellent save to push the ball over the crossbar at the second attempt. Ware responded with a raid down the left of the pitch with McGennity making another good save with his feet. Cranwell should have scored when he was put clear on goal, and rounded the keeper but he put the ball wide from a tight angle. On 65 minutes Ware scored with a flowing move down the right and shot from 8 yards .
Eagles were winning a succession of direct free kicks but could not take advantage. A Lee Pateman free kick from 20 yards avoided the defensive wall but lacked power and was comfortably saved by the Ware keeper at the foot of his post. Eagles brought on young Kadeem Gutzmore and his pace immediately worried the Ware defence. After 80 minutes he collected a ball over the top of the Ware defence, outpaced chasing defenders, and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper for his first goal for the Eagles first team.
Both sides strived to get a winning goal in the final minutes as play swung from end to end. Only a magnificent interception by Iggy Thorpe stopped a certain goal as the Ware striker shaped to shoot, and then Gittings mis cued his low shot wide when well placed to score from near the penalty spot. Ware then missed an open goal with a header from a few yards out with no Eagles player anywhere nearby, the ball passing harmlessly wide of a post.
A draw was probably a fair result in a game when defences were second best