ANAGRAM RECORDS TROPHY 1ST ROUND
LETCHWORTH GARDEN CITY EAGLES 5 THE 61 FC 0
After a scrappy first half Eagles turned on the pressure and with top scorer Sam Gittings scoring 5 goals they eventually ran out comfortable winners over a poor 61 FC side from the Spartan South Midland league.
Eagles had a couple of chances in the first 10 minutes when first Ricky Small hit a low shot from edge of the penalty area straight at the keeper after having a clear sight of goal, and then Mitch Cox shot just wide of the post from 12 yards when well placed to score.
The visitors only threatened on the break and on a quarter of an hour should have gone ahead when a header from Small to his keeper feel short and Dan Goad had to rush out to parry the shot from the unmarked onrushing forward. Sam Gittings was always in the thick of the action and on 20 minutes he almost wriggled through the away defence but tried to beat one defender too many before losing the ball. Eagles played in fits and starts with many passes going astray and the visitors almost nicked a goal with a long ball down the left which required the combined attentions of Goad and David Locke to block the final shot.
In the second half the Eagles were first out of the blocks with 2 quick goals from Gittings. The first was a shot from the edge of the penalty area after good work by John Coley, and the second resulted from an error by the visiting keeper who miscontrolled a back pass and succeeded only in smashing the ball against Gittings and into the unguarded net. The away side’s troubles increased on the hour when a player was sent off for a badly mistimed tackle on the busy Gittings.
Goad had to tip a direct free kick from distance over the crossbar and almost conceded a goal when he spilt a shot into the path of on onrushing forward who pulled his shot wide, but on 70 minutes Gittings made the game safe for the Eagles with his hat trick, waltzing through a static defence with a combination of head and feet before placing the ball wide of the keeper, and he followed it a few minutes later with another goal when Geary outpaced defenders on the right and passed the ball low across goal for the striker to slide the ball into the net from a few yards out. A completely demoralised defence then offered little challenge to Gittings as he raced down the centre of the field to shoot cleanly past the keeper and into the net for his fifth goal.
Eagles kept up the pressure for the last quarter of the game but were unable to add to their goal total.