Eye Utd 3
FC Parson Drove 2
This top of the table clash was always going to be a game with goals and a likely great game for the neutral.
Drove had a dream start in a well worked move from the back out wide to Jermaine Watson who delivered the perfect cross for Mark Hardwick to fire home after two minutes.
Drove continued with their good start with dangerous pressure creating a number of half chances.
Leaders Eye broke on to a long ball on the 15 minute mark and with the oncoming Drove goalkeeper Callum Summers and defender Karl Anderson pressing the attacker, the ball spilled out for an easy finish to make it 1-1.
The rest of the half was end to end stuff, both sides creating chances but could not convert. Eye forced Summers into an amazing save from a corner and had a goal disallowed for off-side. Drove forced the Eye ’keeper into action on several occasions and had several shots just wide of the post.
Drove felt they edged the first half although there was very little in it.
The second half saw a soft free-kick given by the referee on the edge of the box which was expertly converted giving Eye a 2-1 advantage and somewhat a shift in the dynamic of the game. Drove had a big penalty call not long after when Watson was dragged down in the box but no penalty given.
Drove threatened sporadically but in the main was conceding pressure to Eye for the next 20 minutes during which Eye made it 3-1 after some sloppy play from Drove.
Drove showed some character in the last 15 minutes and were forced to be more direct to try to turn the Eye defence around – this bore fruit when Watson brought down a long pass superbly and slotted home making the last 10 minutes a tense affair.
The game was stretched so both sides looked dangerous at this point but Drove were the aggressors trying to salvage a point.
It was too little; too late for Drove, now in third spot as the final whistle blew.
Manager Gary Haime said: “I and the lads are understandably disappointed with the result but I think moreover our second half performance is where we are more disappointed.
“We cannot and will not make excuses, based on the 90 minutes it was the right outcome and Eye Utd deserved their victory.
“Where we are disappointed is for 30 minutes in the second half that wasn’t us! We are better than that. We seemed like we were just waiting for something to happen rather than making something happen. I can’t fault the lads’ work ethic but we need to work smarter.
“Eye are a very good side, dynamic, intelligent and play some good stuff but by no means would I say they are a better outfit than us. Two good sides and a big game it comes down to fine margins. Credit to them: I felt they got everything right on the day and they managed each phase of the game very well.”
Drove return to home action next weekend against struggling Langtoft Reserves.