HERTS SENIOR CENTENARY TROPHY
Eagles fielded a side missing a number of key players but were unlucky to go out of the cup competition having held a 1-0 lead for much of the game until the dying minutes of added time.
Both sides looked evenly matched and in the first 20 minutes neither troubled the opposition keeper. Without leading scorer Charlie Thake Eagles lacked a target man or cutting edge up front, but just before the half hour they went ahead when Carl Williams collected a low cross from Ian West and scored with a left foot half volley into the corner of the net. Soon after they should have scored a second when Ian Thorne charged down through the Ware defence and crossed low into the centre from close to the goal line, but the ball was intercepted by a defender who ballooned it over his own crossbar.
Ware counter attacked and after 40 minutes almost scored when a cross from the right was headed just wide of a post. A shot from 20 yards then rattled the Eagles crossbar. A lowshot hit the foot of an eagles post and rebounded into play as Ware finished the stronger side at the end of the first half.
They almost equalised soon after the restart when a header from a corner went just past the post. The Ware keeper then almost gifted a goal to the Eagles when his poor clearance went straight to Jamie Platt, whose return shot from 25 yards went just wide of a post with the keeper stranded.
Eagles made a series of substitutions to bring on young reserve players from the bench in an effort to add more energy to the team following injuries to Ian West and Jamie Platt, but few chances were created and Eagles defence had to work hard at times to keep the score unchanged. They had some moments when a goal looked likely but it was Ware who broke their hearts in the final minute of added time. Eagles defence switched off and left an opening 15 yards out and the low shot into the corner of the net gave Eagles keeper Paul McGennity no chance.
With no extra time the game went to penalties. Only Deckland Brown scored for the Eagles with the Ware keeper making 2 excellent saves to push away penalties from the Tyler brothers, and with Ware scoring all their penalties the competition was over for the Eagles for another season.