It was a Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division v Division One tie in the Isuzu FA Vase Second Qualifying Round at the weekend as St Panteleimon hosted Letchworth Garden City Eagles.
Both teams were in excellent form going into the game. The Saints had just beaten Leighton Town 3-2 and were in second place of the Premier Division table having won four, drawn two and lost one of their seven league games.
The Eagles were unbeaten in five league and cup games (four wins and one draw) which included a 0-1 win at Thurlow Nunn First Division North side Holland in the First Qualifying Round.
The home side dominated the first half passing the ball around with ease against an Eagle's side who looked second best in every department.
Former Crawley Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, MK Dons, Newport County, Colchester United, Luton Town, Leyton Orient, Reading and Southend United striker Dean Morgan netted a first half hat-trick with his third goal a real stand out strike from the edge of the box right into the top corner of the net. Guilherme Monti also scored to make the half time score 4-0.
Based on the run of play I think most of the 27 people in attendance would have thought it was looking like it was to be a big victory for the home side but full credit to the Eagles who have a number of very impressive young players in their team. They put in a real shift in the second half defending well and competing with their Premier Division opponents across the pitch. Despite the defeat they can take many positives from the game and look forward to their next game at home to Buckingham Athletic in the league next Saturday.
George Frangeskou has built a very impressive squad for St Panteleimon this season. They are most definitely title contenders in the Premier Division in my opinion. They have been drawn away at fellow Premier Division side Harpenden Town in the next round.