Saturday, 23 June 2018

United on cloud nine as Red Kites are thrashed in final league match

United on cloud nine as Red Kites are thrashed in final league match

HENLEY TOWN entertained Thame United on Saturday at the Triangle for their last Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division match of the season.

At the start of the game the visitors were level on points at the top of the table with Bracknell Town who had a superior goal difference of plus seven and this match and the one at Larges Lane where the Robins entertained Highworth Town would decide who won the Hellenic Premier Division Championship.

United knew that not only did they have to win but they would have to win by some margin to overturn the goal difference deficit.

Straight from the kick-off the visitors attacked the Henley goal with vigour and they couldn’t have got off to a better start when after less than half a minute on the clock a long throw-in on the left from David Lynn found its way to Ben Connelly who controlled the ball and placed it neatly wide of Henley keeper Garry Aulsberry.

The second goal arrived two minutes later when referee Alexander Emery awarded a penalty which Lyndon Goss fired into the roof of the Henley net.

Although shocked the young Henley Town side never gave up and almost pulled a goal back when a Chris Byrne header was well saved by Thame keeper Jamie Perkins.

Thame immediately went to the other end and a Luke Ricketts pass found Dan West and he coolly lobbed Aulsberry to make it 3-0 after 14 minutes. The fourth goal arrived after 18 minutes when an Adam Morris corner was found by the unmarked Tom Ashworth
who finished confidently from six yards.

Henley, with six teenagers in the side, were finding it hard to cope with the experienced Thame side’s quick and direct style of play but 17-year-old James Spruyt worked hard to cause a few problems to the visitors’ defence.

In the 28th minute the referee awarded another penalty against Patrick Gardner and leading goal scorer Goss stepped forward to dispatch the ball past Aulsberry.

Whilst the news filtered through that Bracknell Town had taken the lead against Highworth, this did not deter United and they made it 6-0 before the interval when Goss capitalised on hesitancy in the Town’s defence and rounded Aulsberry to complete his hattrick.

The opening stages of the second half were not as frantic and the game was more end to end with Spruyt and Chris Hood having shots at the Thame goal.

Aulsberry then made a terrific save from Ellis Hercules in the 55th minute. Thame made it 7-0 when Goss notched his fourth goal.

On the 68th minute Goss was fouled in the box and he stepped forward to score his third goal from the penalty spot. Substitute Andy Gledhill then fed Goss for his sixth goal and United’s ninth of the match in the 78 minute.

News then started to filter through that Highworth Town had taken the lead at Bracknell and the large Thame following were in party mood as the visitors secured the Hellenic League championship for the first time in 45 years and now move on to the Southern League next season.

As for Henley it was mainly a season to forget. They had a reasonable start but the side that were promoted and won the Reading Senior Cup last season gradually broke up with players moving to other clubs who pay players. The club have had three managers during the season but there is hope with the latest incumbents who are bringing in talented young players.

Henley Town: Garry Aulsberry, Billy Cole, Patrick Gardner (Corey Hall, 46 mins), Luke Husbands (Craigh Dunn, 65 mins), Chris Byrne, Callum Carlisle, Tommy Elmore (Liam Tindall, 46 mins), Owen Davies, Reece Buckett, James Spruyt, Chris Hood. Subs not used: Dan Bridger, Fraser Mowat.

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