It was a bitterly cold Sunday morning as the Eagles took on Avondale but, by the end of the match, everyone watching had forgotten the cold as they watched a thrilling match. The two teams were fighting for the same positions in the table, so there was plenty at stake.
The match got underway and the pattern was set for the game, with each team taking turns to go on the attack. James and Ben started well up front, with Ben playing a nice through ball for James to run onto, but the keeper made a solid save. Avondale than came close at the other end, with their striker failing to connect with his shot with only the goalie to beat.
It was to and fro, neither side gaining ascendancy. In defence Jeremy, Scott Patrick and Callum were constantly busy fending off fast Avondale attacks and were doing a good job keeping them at bay. Avondale had a great chance when a firm cross from the left found their player in the six yard box, but the defence did enough to stop him getting a clear shot and Gabriel saved; the spectators breathed a sigh of relief. Ben then immediately countered and was through on goal but his shot was just wide. It was end to end stuff.
Avondale were through on goal but missed the target, James nutmegged a defender and then tried to round the keeper who did well to stop him, it was frantic, but still a goal wouldn’t come. The first half finished as Charlie put in a great through ball for another go on goal, but the whistle went at 0–0 and it was hard to separate the teams. Both teams were creating chances but the defences were pressurising well, it was a very even game.
The second half saw a few changes with Callum, Charlie and Gabriel taking on a more defensive role, Toby, Jamie and Ethan running the midfield and Kyle, Scott and James taking turns up front. Kyle is normally known for his good tackling but started the half by robbing a defender, beating him with a cut back before firing in a good cross from the left wing, lovely stuff.
Toby had a shot saved before Jamie broke the deadlock. Some nice ball control got him through the defence and a left foot shot went between the keeper’s legs, 1–0 and the Eagles supporters were cheering….but the cheering soon stopped. A long ball down the pitch, a firm shot well saved by Jeremy in goal, Avondale first to the rebound and it was 1–1 almost immediately.
The game seemed destined to end in a deadlock. Numerous corners and goalmouth scrambles at both ends still didn’t result in the elusive goal. James then grabbed it from Avondale with only a few minutes left. He controlled a good through ball, gathered it and then side footed it past the keeper firmly, 2–1 and surely that was enough with only about 5 minutes to go?
Avondale tried for the equaliser – the last few minutes saw the ball constantly in the Eagles half with the players defending deep. Jeremy saved again, Ben, Charlie and Gabriel held firm, Callum tackled time after time, Toby and James dropped back, clearances were mishit and the ball bounced tantalisingly in the Eagles penalty area and then that was it….the whistle went and the Eagles had won it 2–1.
A fantastic result but, more importantly, a gutsy performance full of character. Every player on the Eagles team had fought hard to deny a talented Avondale team and they should be very proud of their efforts. The parents though all aged another 10 years watching the game, well done everyone!
Man of the Match – Jeremy, good solid defending first half and game winning saves in the second – well done Jeremy !
And well done to everyone today, you all gave a great performance this morning which got you the reward !
With only three more games left to play this season we need to keep this momentum going through to the very end.
Match Reporter: Phil