The Eagles played a league match against Cricklade this Sunday. The overnight rain had left the pitch a little muddy but fortunately it stayed dry for the match itself.
The Eagles kicked off and, after a few minutes started to put Cricklade under pressure. Callum broke down the right wing and won a corner. Ethan got a good cross in and Ben volleyed the ball nicely but it went straight to the keeper. Shortly afterwards Ben came close again and hit the post, but the ball bounced clear. Another chance came as James used his pace to latch onto a through ball but the subsequent shot went just wide. Eventually the deadlock was broken when Callum loitered around the box for a corner and was on hand to knock the loose ball into the net. 1-0 to the Eagles.
Another chance slid across the face of the Cricklade goal and Ben and James both found themselves sliding for the ball with the opposition keeper, but the goalie gathered the ball just in time. Another goal-line clearance from Cricklade denied the Eagles and it looked like only a matter of time before they increased the lead, as attack after attack came close.
All of a sudden though Cricklade started to fight back. Patrick had to make a couple of great saves in as many minutes as the Cricklade attack showed how dangerous they could be. Kyle then put in a great interception to stifle another attack before some super dribbling from the Cricklade striker ended with his shot bouncing off the post and Patrick then leapt onto the rebound. Shortly afterwards Patrick and Kyle somehow managed to prevent Cricklade from scoring when a goal looked inevitable but it was getting very tense and the Eagles were on the defensive.
Charlie H then managed to relieve the pressure. He had been battling hard in the midfield and he managed to break down the left and slot the ball through nicely to Ben, but the shot was saved and the first half drew to a close with the Eagles hanging on to a 1-0 advantage.
The second half started off where the first half had finished with each side taking turns in attack. Ethan then slotted a lovely pass through to Olly H who beat a defender and then ran at the goal. A neat cut inside caught the defender out and Olly was tripped in the penalty area. Penalty to the Eagles! Ben struck it firmly and the Eagles were now 2-0 up and had some breathing space.
Olly P, Patrick and Kyle were doing an excellent job in defence, tackling well and competing for every ball. Kyle was very composed and showed some skilful touches and Olly chased every ball that came near him. Patrick was fast and determined but Cricklade were still looking dangerous. A couple of great saves from Charlie stopped them from scoring and the match remained in the balance.
It was still end to end stuff. A break from James down the right, a great cross and a first time shot from Ben but the ball came off the post again. Then another attack from Cricklade finished with a nice strike and a goal. 2-1 now and all to play for.
With tired legs and a muddy pitch the last few minutes turned into a real battle, with both sides defending hard and putting lots of players around the ball. Toby hit a lovely curling left foot shot but, again the keeper managed to make the save. A real goal mouth scramble in the Cricklade area didn’t result in a last goal for the Eagles and the referee brought the game to a close with the boys earning a 2-1 victory. It had been an exciting match, with lots of chances for both sides. The Eagles had hit the post twice, Cricklade hit it once and both goalkeepers put in some fine saves. It was a great result for the Eagles, and the boys all worked tremendously hard throughout the game.
Man of the match went to Olly P for his great defensive performance, well done Olly, and well done to all of the team for a spirited performance.
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