The Eagles began their season at home to Farnborough OBG 4XI, a team that had to drop down a league due to one of their other teams gaining promotion by winning division 2 last season despite coming 4th.
This on paper looked like a tough test to start the season with and the Eagles were keen not to let them have an easy ride.
The game started pretty even with both teams battling to gain the edge in terms of territory, with our boys looking to make sure they got through the first 10 mins against such a strong team on level terms.
With Rory Johnson commanding the back line, the Eagles looked assured and rarely troubled during the first 45 minutes, however in attack we struggled to pose much of a threat with the forward play looking rushed and lacking in quality in the final third.
But with all this considered, at half time the Eagles were content at 0-0 knowing there was plenty of room for improvement in the second half. Two substitutions were made at the half with Captain Andy Bowers making way for Myles Wright in centre midfield, a change designed to add a more physical presence in midfield and Striker James Seale coming off after working and hassling the Farnborough defence for the whole first half, was replaced by pre-season sharp shooter Reggie Oliver.
As the second half began the main midfield pair of Craig Newell and Stacie Butcher had formed a good midfield understanding and started to gain more control of the game. They were able to get the ball under control and forward to Alex Foston who had been frustratingly feeding on scraps in the first half.
Reggie Oliver fired an effort just wide and the Eagles knew at that point they were growing into the game more with the defence maintaining their performance in the first half by staying as solid as a rock. With this now more solid base, we were able to push both wing backs Nick McNeil and Marcus Barton forward to bolster the attack.
This plan paid dividends when a through ball from the wing found Alex Foston in the area who nicked the ball away from the Farnborough goal keeper and rolled it into an unguarded net!
1-0 to the Eagles!!!
As the game went on Farnborough pushed looking for an equaliser and with their attacking play lacking any kind of conviction, it looked like the boys would hang on to the victory.
However, with 5 minutes to go the rock-solid Eagles back 3 who had performed outstandingly all day showed its first slight crack when a 3 chances to clear the ball from our own penalty area were scarpered and the ball fell to the Farnborough forward 8 yards out which he placed past a helpless Jack McGinn in the Eagles goal to make it 1-1.
After that both teams battled hard for the remainder of the game but couldn't find a winner. A good start to the season for the Eagles with a lot of positives to take away and build on in the coming weeks. Next week we face Russellers in the London Cup with manager Joe Benning is looking to use to get all the Eagles essential minutes in the first two games of the 2018/19 season.
Well done lads, a good performance that deserved more than a draw. On to the next one……..
Final Score: Eltham Eagles 1-1 Farnborough OBG 4XI