HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIVISION
Despite having to field a weakened side and the suffer loss of leading scorer Charlie Thake after 15 minutes, Eagles defended stoutly and won the game with a goal in the final minutes.
Eagles opened brightly and after 5 minutes the Bushey keeper had to make a fine save to deflect wide a direct fee kick by Thake from 20 yards out. From the resulting corner Josh Cranwell headed towards the top corner of the goal, but the keeper just managed to tip the ball over the cross bar. River Amis- Robinson dribbled through a static defence but his shot was blocked, and Cranwell had another header well saved by the keeper at full stretch.
The rythmn of the Eagles team was disrupted by the loss of Thake whose ankle was damaged by a nasty tackle that the referee failed to punish with other than a free kick. Bushey came more into the game and Paul McGennity had to palm a shot over his crossbar. Bushey should then have scored after a low cross from the right fizzed across the Eagles penalty area, but the ball was ballooned over the crossbar from close to the penalty spot.
Jamie Farrar made a strong run down the centre of the field but was bundled off the ball before he could shoot for goal. Appeals for a penalty were ignored by the referee. A corner by Jake Tyler was headed just wide by his brother Joe, and Bushey missed several half chances at the other end of the pitch, with both sides finishing the half with shots from distance that did not bother either keeper.
10 minutes after half time Bushey missed another sitter when a cross from the right to an unmarked forward was headed wide from 8 yards. Eagles pushed back and almost scored with a wonderful flowing passing move between Amis Robinson and Cranwell, but his final shot was just wide of the far post. Joe Tyler headed just too high and wide, and at the other end McGennity was forced to make an excellent close range save after the ball had been threaded through the Eagles defence. Another flowing Eagles move almost brought a goal, but the low shot from the edge of the Bushey penalty area by Ben Southby was deflected into the side netting by a defender.
Bushey did get the ball into the Eagles net after 75 minutes but the goal was ruled out for offside. Another break down the right caused havoc in the Eagles defence until the ball was deflected out for a corner. Eagles sub Aiden Godfrey almost scored with an early touch when his shot from 20 yards just skimmed the home crossbar. Then Cranwell forced another good save by the home keeper after a break down the left side as Eagles looked for the winning goal. Bushey were dangerous on the counter and McGennity had to make a fine double save to first parry a shot and then to push out another shot from the rebound.
Either side could have won the game in the final minutes. Bushey had a great chance but shot wide of a gaping goal, and it was Eagles who struck gold when Cranwell ran on to a long pass by David Locke who had made a surging run down the centre of the field and glided the ball past the advancing keeper just inside the penalty area, and into an empty net, despite the desperate efforts of a covering defender to clear the ball off the Bushey goal line.