Eagles hold league leaders

14:11 08 November 2011

Harry Holland tangles with the Bushey keeper. Photo: Martyn Annetts.

Harry Holland tangles with the Bushey keeper. Photo: Martyn Annetts.

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Letchworth draw 2-2 with Met Police Bushey

Letchworth Garden City Eagles 2 Met. Police Bushey 2

A late equaliser denied Eagles the notable scalp of unbeaten league leaders Met Police Bushey on Saturday.

After going ahead through a Rob Groves goal with 10 minutes remaining, Eagles were pegged back in the closing stages in a competitive game that produced a red card for both teams.

Eagles gave first starts of the season to striker Joe De La Salle and midfielder Den Crook, who had both been out with long term injuries.

It was the former that caused Bushey early problems with his aerial ability, twice creating chances for himself by controlling long balls and firing volleys narrowly wide.

But it was Bushey whole stole into the lead on 20 minutes when a short corner routine was flicked in at the near post by Darren Gardiner.

Eagles received a boost a few moments later when Bushey’s centre back was shown a second yellow card for a tug on De La Salle after a quickly taken free-kick.

Now in the ascendency, the equaliser came when Harry Holland latched onto a chipped through ball by Crook and rounded the goalkeeper. He then squared for captain Luke Garwood who rolled the ball home from six yards.

Paul McGennity had to be alert to head the ball away from under his own crossbar, and De La Salle was inches away from making contact with Holland’s left-wing cross.

Bushey made their intentions clear as soon as the second half was underway by sitting very deep and inviting Eagles to come forward.

They rode their luck on a few occasions, most notably when Garwood’s close range volley was blocked on the line, and when De La Salle was barged over when clean through only for the referee to ignore penalty claims.

It was going to take something special for Eagles to grab the lead they deserved, and that’s what they got when Groves fired into the top corner from 30 yards after a corner was partially cleared.

Bushey then made a double substitution to try and get back into the game, and Dan Goad was called upon to tip a superb free-kick over the bar.

Eagles then committed too many men forward trying to make the game safe leaving space for Josiah Hunte to run through the right hand channel to strike a low shot that Goad could only parry into the net.

Holland, who had battled brilliantly up front despite being on the end of several firm challenges, was given his marching orders in stoppage time after picking up a second yellow card for a foul.

A draw against one of the league’s best sides is a satisfactory result, but Eagles will feel they should have won the game having been in front against ten men.

They travel to Wormley in the second round of the Herts Centenary Trophy this weekend, a competition they lost the final of last season.

Eagles: Goad; McGennity, Garwood, Brown, Locke; Pennery, Crook (Morbin), Pateman (Mitchell), Groves; Holland, De La Salle

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