Saturday, 20 January 2018

Hat-trick hero Earle in seventh heaven as Hurricanes march on

Hat-trick hero Earle in seventh heaven as Hurricanes march on

JACK EARLE scored his seventh successive goal for AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U16s as they ran out 3-2 winners away to BINFIELD BISON U16s in last Saturday’s East Berks League Division 2 clash.

Henley conceded midway through the first half after failing to clear a corner. Binfield were largely winning the midfield areas and forced a number of corners, utilising the strong wind to send in dangerous inswinging deliveries which Henley defended well.

Henley gradually built on their possession but the final ball was too often not of sufficient quality, the wind hampering some decent approach play.

More success was found in the ability of the players to dribble in attacking phases and, following a good run and cross by James Goulden, Earle finished well at the far post.

Goulden then missed a close-range opportunity to give Henley the lead as the team gained more attacking momentum. Having achieved a good balance to their game, Henley went behind to a close-range header just before half time.

The second half was better for Henley, establishing the resilience and competitive edge to dictate play. Earle equalised with a stunning shot from 25 metres.

Henley were now only hampered by being hit by debatable decisions, demonstrated by a penalty which Henry Harmer saved at full stretch to his left.

The game stretched and Henley started to dominate possession and with improved forward passing. This ultimately led to the winner as a through ball from Ryan Lynskey set Earle clear, who finished with a low shot to the far corner to complete his hat-trick.

AFC HENLEY HOTSPURS U15s went down to a 3-2 defeat at home to CURLEY PARK RANGERS U15s in their top-of-the-table East Berks League encounter. The visitors took the lead after 15 minutes in a strongly contested first half where both sides battled to get control of the game. Henley fought back with captain Max Gaskin pushing the team forward leading to Alfie Hearn equalising after 20 minutes from a corner. Henley continued to push forward and created more chances but Curley Park Rangers always looked dangerous going forward and secured another two goals leaving Henley 3-1 down at half-time.

The visitors started the second half well but Henley once again fought back hard and Max Gaskin slid a goal past the advancing goalkeeper.

Henley’s defence held firm denying the visitors any further goals in the second half but despite continued pressure were unable to score an elusive equaliser.

Man-of-the-match for the hosts was Josh Le Beigge, who was an outstanding contributor to Henley’s defence throughout the match.

AFC HENLEY HOTSPURS U10s ran out 2-0 winners away to SANDHURST U10s. Jake Williams played some good football for the visitors while captain Jack Scanlon aided by Charlie Hunt were solid at the back and goalkeeper Ben Palmer made some fine saves to keep the scores level at 0-0.

In the second quarter Stanley Massie opened the scoring with a stunning strike. The Hotspurs had an attack down the right wing with some neat football from Tom Francis. Massie received a pass that sat up nicely for him and he half volleyed from the sideline and caught the Sandhurst keeper off his line as the ball dropped into the back of the net.

Sandhurst came out in the second half with all guns blazing but some steadfast defending from Dexter Harris and Oscar Thomas kept them at bay.

The second goal came from a counter attack from the halfway line. Freddie Piasecki out-manouvered his opposition to regain possession and, with quick thinking, passed down the wing to Jack Scanlon who took on the defender and crossed to the feet of Daniel Hoi who rounded the goalkeeper to score.

The result meant Henley Hotspurs remain undefeated in East Berks Division E with three games left to play.

AFC HENLEY HOTSPURS U9s had the edge as they ran out 2-0 winners in their derby clash with WARGRAVE WOLVES REDS U9s.

Opening brightly Henley pressed forward from the off, moving the ball quickly in wave after wave of attack but failing to find the telling final pass through a packed Wargrave defence. It took an own goal from a Henley corner, the ball bobbling around in the crowded goalmouth, for the teams to be separated at half-time.

Continuing to dominate possession and territory Hotspurs began to create more space in the second half and eventually, through another own goal, brought about by more heavy pressure, put some daylight into the score line.

At 2-0 and having only defended one shot on goal themselves, Henley pushed for more goals but it wasn’t to be.

The Henley midfield of Edwards, Rees, Gudjohnsen-Mitchell, Mennie, Ingram and Brough worked tirelessly for each other and always showed an extra yard or two of pace without quite delivering the decisive final ball for Priestley to add to his rising season’s goal tally. Chechi and Aitken-Woods were in control thoughout at the back.

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