AUBREY CUP FINAL HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE
In a cup final packed with incident and goals, played at London Lions own ground rather than a neutral venue, the Eagles were put to the sword by a powerful and all conquering opponents.But for a magnificent performance by Eagles keeper Paul McGennity the game would have been out of sight by half time, but Eagles matched their opponents for much the game only to fall away badly in the last half hour.
Eagles started brightly and in the first 5 minutes could have gone ahead when Charlie Thake latched on to a pass by gary Christie but shot wide from the edge of the penalty area, and then Sam Gittings broke free on the left but shot straight at the keeper. However after 10 minutes Lions went ahead when Eagles defence failed to properly clear a corner and the ball was volleyed into the roof of the net from outside the penalty area, giving keeper Paul McGennity no chance of saving.
Soon afterwards McGennity was in action to block a header from a corner on his goal line but as play swung from end to end Mitch Cox was unlucky not to score from close range but had his shot smothered by the home keeper. Eagles then got a deserved goal when Christie crossed the ball from the Lions goal line into the path of Thake, who scored from close range. Lions used the flanks to good effect with pace and precision and should have scored when a cross found a Lions player unmarked in the penalty area. His goal bound shot was blocked by McGennity with a reflex save, and from the resulting corner he made another great save to block the ball at his near post. Minutes later he made a great one handed save to push wide a shot from 10 yards, but the pressure on the Eagles goal finally was rewarded when Lions rampaged again down the right flank with a high cross into the centre netted by an unmarked forward, giving McGennity no chance of saving.
Eagles resistance was crushed early in the second half when Jamie Platt brought down his opponent just inside the Eagles penalty area, and the penalty was cleanly dispatched. Eagles tried to respond by throwing men forward but were left exposed to swift counter attacks by the Lions. Jamie Platt had to make a fine blocking tackle when another goal looked certain and then a low shot from the edge of the penalty area took a deflection past McGennity to make the score 4-1 to Lions. It was soon 5-1 with another rapid move down the flanks and cross into the centre, and the lack of pace in the Eagles team was cruelly exposed. McGennity had to make another good save to stop a shot from 15 yards but it was soon 6-1 with a long ball down the centre and the ball was walked round the unfortunate McGennity and passed into an empty net. The scoring was completed with another fast raid down the flanks, a cross into the centre to an unmarked forward, and clean finish. Eagles almost had the last word when a cross by Carl Williams was headed against a post by Thake with the keeper beaten, but it was not to be Eagles’ day