HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
This top of the table clash between first and second proved as tight a game as expected and Eagles were unlucky to lose to a second half own goal having defended stoutly for much of the game.
Eagles were first to get a shot on target when in the opening minutes Charlie Thake hit the ball hard and low from the edge of the penalty area, but too close to the home keeper, who saved comfortably. Bovingdon always looked dangerous going forward and missed a good chance after 15 minutes when a shot was blazed high and wide from 15 yards with a clear view of goal. Eagles then failed to clear a dangerous free kick but Bovingdon were unable to force the ball into the net in scramble in the Eagles goal area.
Eagles came under sustained pressure when first a cross from the right was headed just over the visitor’s crossbar from 8 yards then Sam Nicholl hauled down his opponent from behind, close to the penalty area as he broke through a gaping defence and looked about to shoot. Nicholls got a caution and the free kick was straight at the defensive wall.
Eagles did have their moments. A shot from 20 yards by Thake whistled past a post and in a great move between Thake and Paul Morris the final shot was blocked by an excellent tackle a few yards from goal. Carl Williams was put clear by a pass down the centre of the field by thake, but his shot from outside the penalty area was also blocked , so the first half ended goal less.
Bovingdon soon threatened after the restart and Eagles’ Paul McGennity had to make a smart interception to snatch the ball off the toes of an onrushing forward. Thake then almost got the important first goal when the home keeper rashly ran outside his penalty area, and was beaten to the ball by Thake who attempted to roll the ball into an empty net from 20 yards, only for it to be intercepted by a covering defender. A long range blast from Jake Tyler was heading for the top corner of the Bovingdon net before the home keeper made a magnificent save to tip it over the crossbar.
Play raced from end to end with both defences holding firm until the Eagles went behind on the hour mark when the Bovingdon wingman got to the goal line and pulled the ball back low across the Eagles goal area. Jamie Farrar facing his own goal had the misfortune to push the ball into his own net under pressure from an opponent. Bovingdon then stepped up the pressure with Eagles struggling to keep possession of the ball for long periods. Shots were blocked and desperate clearances made to keep the Eagles in the game, and they had to thank McGennity for an excellent save pushing wide a shot from 6 yards.
After 80 minutes Morris made a fine surging run through the home defence from the half way line, and as he approached the edge of the penalty area he was felled by a bad tackle from behind, which earned his opponent a caution, and ended Morris’s involvement in the game. With no subs left to replace the injured Morris Eagles playing with 10 men struggled to get a deserved equaliser. The home keeper made another excellent save to push a shot from 10 yards wide of a post and Eagles had to settle for a narrow defeat, despite an excellent hard working performance for much of the game against worthy opponents.