Three goals and two red cards as Eagles defeat Bushey in HSCL Premier thriller
PUBLISHED: 11:29 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:29 06 February 2017
Letchworth GC Eagles produced what was probably their best performance of the season so far as a tribute to the loss of the popular club co-founder Vince Paige who died suddenly on Friday.
The 3-0 win at Bushey Social was a real team effort from the Eagles against a side who finished the game with nine players after two red cards in the latter stages of the match.
Bushey looked dangerous in the first 10 minutes without forcing Eagles keeper Ryan Ellis into a serious save, but then Charlie Thake took a pass from Gary Christie and beat a defender to score with a fine low shot into the corner from the edge of the area.
Eagles had other early chances including a Christie chip just over the bar and a Thake header which drifted wide while Bushey played on the counter-attack only to miss a great opportunity to equalise when an open goal chance was spurned.
Paul McGennity then had to race back to hack the ball off the Eagles line when a back header by David Locke fell short of Ellis and the shot from a waiting Bushey forward beat the keeper and headed towards the unguarded net.
The Bushey keeper then had to make a good save to push wide a direct free-kick by Thake from fully 30 yards, but the ball was not cleared and was returned to an unmarked Christie whose header from 10 yards failed to carry enough power to beat the keeper.
The Eagles finally got a second goal when Iggy Thorne made a fine run down the right and beat several defenders before crossing to Carl Williams, who scored from close range after the ball rebounded to him from a defender.
On 40 minutes it was 3-0 following another fine run and cross by Thorne. The keeper pushed out the first shot by Williams but he followed up to bundle the ball into the net off a defender and through a crowd of players.
The second half began as the first had ended when a direct free-kick into the Bushey area was somehow scrambled clear as the ball bobbled along the line and Christie was unable to force it into the net.
Thorne then shot straight at the keeper from an acute angle and a low shot from 25 yards by Christie was held at full stretch by the Bushey keeper, who then made a good save to deny Thake from the edge of the area.
Sam Gittings’ low shot passed wide of the post from the edge of the area and he then blasted the ball over the bar when sent clear on goal by Thake as Eagles continued to create chances.
Bushey threatened from time to time, particularly down the right flank, without creating any clear chances. And as they faded as an attacking force their frustration increased and they were reduced to nine men for the remaining 10 minutes of the game though Eagles were unable to take advantage of their superior numbers to get another goal.