HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIVISION
For the second successive week Eagles have to thank keeper Paul Mcgennity for a fine penalty save to rescue a point for the home team. The teams were evenly matched for much of a very physical and sometimes bad tempered game, but in the last 20 minutes Eagles did enough to get all the points.
Within minutes of the start Eagles’ James Endacott found his way into the referee’s notebook after a late challenge, and the game was punctuated throughout by fouls and stoppages in play for player injuries.
New Salamis got their noses in front in less than 10 minutes when Eagles defence dropped too deep giving space for a well flighted shot from the edge of the penalty after Luke Donnelly had given the ball away in midfield. Eagles tried to respond and Scott Piggott got his head to a cross near the penalty spot but it lacked power and was straight at the keeper. Michael Payne then headed a good chance well wide from a corner. New Salamis came close on the half hour when a cross from the right was headed just over Eagles’ cross bar and Donnelly was put clear on goal, but his shot was straight at the keeper. Otherwise neither side really troubled the opposition keepers.
Soon after half time it was 2-0 to the visitors when Eagles failed to deal with a corner which was headed in at the far post. McGennity got a hand to the ball but could only deflect it into the corner of the net. Piggott raised the hopes of the home team with a strong run down the centre of the field but was eventually hustled off the ball as he shaped to shoot from near the penalty spot. Eagles then got even closer when sub Iggy Thorne broke down the left side and delicately lobbed the ball over the head of the advancing keeper, but the ball did not carry sufficient power and it was hacked off the goal line by a covering defender. The resulting corner was then headed straight at the keeper by an unmarked Payne.
10 minutes from the end Eagles finally got the goal they deserved when the ref played on following a foul on River Amis- Robinson, the ball was fed to Piggott who scored clinically with a shot from 12 yards. The visitors counter attacked and could have scored with a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area going just wide of a post. And then faced with a clear sight of goal on the edge of the penalty area, the ball was blasted high over the crossbar.
There was more drama in at least 10 minutes of added time when Piggott forged into the penalty area and was brought crashing down. He then scored from the penalty spot with a low shot into the corner of the net. Amis – Robinson was put clear on goal by a pass from Ray Antcliff but his outstretched toe poke was not good enough to beat the keeper who made a good save to keep the ball out of his net. Then in the dying minutes McGennity was judged by an assistant referee of fouling an onrushing forward inside the penalty area. He then made amends by flinging himself to the right to push the penalty away from goal, before it was hacked clear by grateful Eagles’ defenders.
A draw was probably a fair result in a hard fought game against strong opponents.