Davies nets on debut as Red Kites make FA Vase exit
HENLEY TOWN crashed out of this season’s FA Vase at the second qualifying round stage at
HENLEY TOWN crashed out of this season’s FA Vase at the second qualifying round stage at Alton last Saturday in a controversial encounter that saw several dubious refereeing decisions that infuriated manager Gerry McGinty and eventually led to him being asked to leave the touchline.
The Red Kites started out defensively as Alton pushed forward, putting pressure on the visitors’ defence.
However, Henley took the lead on 13 minutes when an attack down the left wing saw Tommy Elmore and fullback Matt Leigh overlapping before Leigh fired his side ahead.
The home side committed several fouls by Adam Allaway and Sam Hutchings which resulted in both players being spoken to by referee Andy Mawby.
Alton’s number 10 Scott Sanderson levelled in the 31st minute and seven minutes later Tom Hogan cleared a ball after a foul on Grant Kemp which resulted in Hogan being booked by the referee.
Three minutes before half-time the hosts took the lead when captain Ben Hutchings netted after appearing to use his hand to guide the ball into the net.
In the last minute of the half Henley centre half Mitch Cooper went down injured but play went on as Ashley Peck netted to put the hosts 3-1 up.
At half-time McGinty replaced Liam Tindell with Chris Hood. The visitors started the half by pressing but a quick counter attack saw Alton’s Scott Sanderson appear to handle the ball in the air to gain control inside Henley’s penalty area. Henley supporters, along with manager McGinty, called handball and once the ball was out of play the Henley manager was instructed to leave the field by the referee.
Matters went from bad to worse for Henley on the hour mark when Henry Fox made it 4-1.
Soon after Henley’s assistant manager replaced Jack Thomson-Wheeler with James Griffiths.
The Red Kites had a penalty appeal turned down when Elmore nipped into the Alton box and passed the ball under the goalkeeper before being brought down. The referee blew his whislte and instead of giving a penalty gave an indirect free kick for a back pass to the bemusement of the visitors. Henley took the kick on the edge of the six yard box which Alton defended and cleared with their whole side on the goal line.
Callum Carlisle went close for the visitors shooting just wide of the right hand post in the 78th minute before Henley were awarded a penalty for a push which Michael Davies converted on his debut for the Red Kites.
With a minute of the match remaining Alton’s Jonny Gray was booked, followed soon by after by Ashley Peck and James Griffiths both receiving cautions.