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Monday, 19 February 2018
POLISH striker Karol Derewenko bagged a brace including an injury-time winner to give Henley Town their first points in Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One East.
Fresh on the back of two defeats from their opening two games the Red Kites travelled to the ASM Stadium to face Thame Rangers last Saturday.
On what was a very warm afternoon the first half ended goalless with Derewenko coming closest in the 43minute but both goalkeepers looked in good form when they were called upon.
After the break, the hosts got their noses in front in the 51st minute when Kieran Moreton got on the end of a right wing cross to slide the ball past Henley’s Cosmin Mariah.
Thame almost scored again four minutes later but the Romanian stopper dived full-length to push the ball wide of the post for a corner.
Henley always looked like they were still in the game and Will Jaycock went close, forcing the Thame keeper to make an excellent save.
This seemed to kick the game into life as the action was now end-to-end. In the 64th minute referee Edward Hall booked Henley’s young centre-back Jack Baldwin and awarded the hosts a penalty but Mariah pulled off a brilliant save to keep the Red Kites in with a shout of getting something from the game.
This gave Henley a terrific boost and the players pushed forward in search of an equaliser.
With 10 minutes to go, Henley’s pressure finally told when Derewenko burst through from midfield, found some space, and rifled the ball home to make 1-1 with all to play for.
Both teams pushed players forward in search of a winner but it went Henley’s way when Derewenko scored his second goal in injury time to give the Red Kites a deserved win.
The result was all the more impressive as Henley were missing a few of their regular players being absent, attending events that included the Reading Festival.
But the players who turned out performed well and will make team selection difficult for manager Jock Mowat for upcoming fixtures.
French left-back Francois Ali had an excellent debut while 18-year-old Baldwin continues to develop and improve with every game he plays. Nick Holtzer, who was called up from Henley’s reserve side, also put in a solid display.
Meanwhile, Henley Reserves lost 3-0 to the club’s Sunday side in a friendly held at the Triangle Ground in front of more than 200 spectators on Friday last week.
The reserves were missing six players from their regular match-day squad, including striker Toby Cranfield, who had been delayed at hospital where he was getting an X-ray.
It was only their second game of the season for the new-look side and straight away the Sunday side looked more organised.
They took the lead mid-way through the first half after the referee awarded a penalty for handball in the area following a cross into the area that went through a crowd of players. Up stepped Thomas Chaplin who sent the keeper the wrong way.
The reserves had the chance to pull a goal back with a penalty of their own when Nick Holzer was fouled in the box with a late challenge. He stepped up to take the spot-kick but it was saved.
Sam Earl then doubled the Sunday side’s advantage with a long-range shot just before half-time.
After the restart, the game was much more even as the reserves made several positional changes and Holzer missed another chance when he hit the post having drawn the keeper towards him.
Things got worse for the reserves when they went down to 10 men for the last 15 minutes when one of their substitutes had to go off injured.
The Sunday side then scored their third and final goal with 10 minutes to go after a deflected shot.
Reserve team player Jason Hopes, 18, formerly of Henley Boys, was singled out for having played particularly well in several positions across the course of the game.
l WOODCOTE wound up a good week with a crushing 9-0 victory over TAPLOW UNITED in the Thames Valley Premier League on Saturday.
Adam Cashin-Murray and Jake Dillon both helped themselves to hat-tricks with the three other goals coming courtesy of Sam Green, Andy Bullett and Malvin Kachingwe.
Their first home game of the season on Wednesday last week was an impressive 3-0 win over a more than useful Highmoor/Ibis, with goals on that occasion coming from Andy Bullett, Frank Dillon and Mike Davies.
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