The Eagles took on Cricklade today and it promised to be a challenging match; Cricklade were having a successful season and doing well in the League. After the heavy rain last night I was expecting a mud bath but the pitch was actually in good shape and the sun came out in time for the kick off.
Both teams spent a few minutes getting going when suddenly some loose defending from Cricklade saw the ball arrive with Callum who had a clear view of goal. He made no mistake, a calm right footed shot sailed into the net to put the Eagles 1-0 up. Charlie was looking dangerous up front too, frequently breaking through the defensive line and getting either a shot or a cross away. Cricklade were useful though. Jamie had already made one good save before some frantic defending ended with a Cricklade player slotting in the equaliser. 1-1 and the game was shaping up nicely.
The Eagles were creating some good chances though. Toby was just denied a goal from a well taken corner, Ben was through on goal, forced the keeper into a good save and then hit the post. It looked like a goal was imminent and, sure enough, Charlie intercepted a weak goal kick and whacked it into the net to give the Eagles the lead again. Ben and Charlie were pressurising the Cricklade defence frequently now and their keeper did well to keep them at bay initially. Alfie put a nice through ball to Ben just before half time and Ben did well with his left foot take the team 3-1 in front at the half time break.
It had been a good first half. Jamie had made some good saves whilst Toby, Patrick and Ollie had worked hard in defence to keep Cricklade from scoring further. Callum had been showing great skill on the right side and Alfie and Scott had hassled for the ball well. Cricklade looked to be struggling against the pace of Ben and Charlie up front though so more goals looked likely.
In the second half Charlie went in goal and Jamie came into the attack. James went to right back. The team though started playing in the same confident fashion. A lovely move eventually ended with Ben rounding the Cricklade keeper and he was unlucky to hit the side netting. Charlie was then forced into making a good save, punching the ball clear and catching the rebound and shortly afterwards had to watch the ball cannon off the crossbar from a Cricklade shot. He then managed to deny Cricklade a goal, when their striker was only a couple of yards from the goal line. Exciting stuff, but the Eagles were playing well and soaking up the pressure.
Soon afterwards a great long ball from Toby freed up Ben down the left wing and he was away down the wing. He crossed into the box where Scott was in exactly the right position to finish off a great move. 4-1 and the Malmesbury supporters started to breathe again. Alfie then latched onto a ball that bounced free and scored another, 5-1 and the Eagles were away and enjoying themselves.
Callum was meanwhile dominating the right midfield, ably supported by James behind him who defended with great speed and tenacity. Patrick was playing his usual determined game, hassling the opposition constantly and making important tackles, whilst Toby and Ollie were calmly running the left and central areas , tidying up loose balls and passing nicely out of defence, feeding Scott, Alfie Ben and Jamie some lovely passes. Jamie was working tirelessly and seemed to be all over the pitch and his skill was causing chaos in the Cricklade defence. Ben scored another but was offside, but Jamie then showed more of his talent to beat a number of Cricklade players, slide a pass through to Ben who was on-side this time and made no mistake. 6-1 and it was no less than the Eagles deserved.
The final whistle went and Cricklade had been well beaten. This was a fantastic team performance from the Eagles, with everyone contributing to the victory. They should be very pleased with their performance as Cricklade were a good team with a number of good players. The Eagles had been solid in defence, determined in midfield and fast and dangerous up front and it had been too much for the opposition.
The reasons for this success soon became obvious in the Eagles v Parents penalty shootout afterwards. The Mums effortlessly walloped two goals into the net to put the parents ahead whilst ‘Jamie the Cat’ looked almost impossible to beat in goal. Clearly with such talented Mums the Eagles were always likely to succeed – were it not for the questionable finishing skills of the Dads and Head coach the result would have been beyond doubt, but a combination of dodgy footwear and even dodgier excuses kept the penalty result closer than it could have been!!
Well played the Eagles, a great performance that was a pleasure to watch.