HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE
Despite gale force winds sweeping across the pitch both sides did their best to overcome the conditions and provide an entertaining game.
Eagles first attempt on goal came after 10 minutes when Ricky Small headed over the Ware cross bar from a corner but soon after the Eagles defence was left floundering and a shot from 12 yards beat keeper Brad Gillham to give Ware the lead. This lasted until 25 minutes when ‘Iggy’ Thorne made a surging run into the Ware penalty area and was fouled . Charlie Thake comfortably scored from the penalty spot. Thorpe nearly repeated the move but this time the defender managed to get a blocking tackle to concede a corner as he was about to shoot for goal.
10 minutes into the second half Ware got a second goal when a mistake by Jamie Platt let his opponent run inside him on to the ball. Gillham made a great save to parry the shot but the rebound went straight back to Ware and the second shot into an open goal was unstoppable. Straight from the kick off Carl Williams noticed that the home keeper was standing well off his goal line and his high punt from the halfway line assisted by the wind almost went over the keepers head into the net, but was just tipped over the cross bar. Thorpe then beat the keeper in a race for the ball but his delicate flick did not carry enough power and was cleared in front of the goal line by a covering defender
Eagles piled on the pressure and an acrobatic bicycle kick by Shane Carthy was almost turned into the net by Small, who shot just over from close range. Another goal line clearance denied Eagles a goal with the keeper beaten and after the ball had bobbed around the Ware penalty area Sam Gittings fired into the side netting from 6 yards. Eagles finally got their reward for strong pressure when Carthy chased a long ball down the centre, rounded the keeper and placed the ball into an open net. Josh Coley had a good chance to score soon after when clear on goal but opted to try and lob the keeper and did not get enough height on the ball. Jamie Farrar side footed another chance over the cross bar, but Ware counter attacked and Eagles goal was lucky to survive a break down the left and a low cross which fizzed across the goal area with no forward able to apply a finishing touch.
In the last 10 minutes play switched from end to end as both sides raised the tempo of play and looked for the winning goal. Ware spurned 2 great chances to score. First an air shot which ran kindly for a second chance to be blasted wide of the Eagles goal. Den Crook was unlucky with a lobbed shot from 40 yards out which caught the keeper off his line and almost succeeded. Eagles claimed that ball was over the goal line before it was cleared by the hapless keeper, but the assistant referee was well behind play and no goal was awarded. There was last minute drama when the Eagles were awarded a direct free kick in a central position on the edge of the Ware penalty area, but Williams put the ball high and wide and the chance for glory was lost.