Saturday, 20 January 2018
HENLEY TOWN once again put in a resolute performance that belied their lowly league position as they frustrated hosts Ardley United in the first half of last Saturday’s Oxfordshire Senior Cup clash.
Going into the match without a recognised goalkeeper for the second week running — with Will Jaycock taking up the gloves between the sticks once more — Henley kept the Division 1 West league leaders at bay until the 53rd minute of the match when the hosts scored the first of their three goals.
In the first half Ardley played the better football but were matched by Henley’s effort with the Red Kites’ defence holding out and looking solid with important blocks and tackles to restrict the hosts to long range shots. Tommy Elmore was busy in right midfield for the Kites.
The hosts’ first effort of the game came after eight minutes when a shot sailed over the bar from 18 yards out. Soon after Henley forced a good save from the home goalkeeper.
Ardley crated several chances with two long range shots testing Jaycock in the Henley goal.
Two minutes before half-time Graham High conceded a free kick on the edge of the area but the resulting kick was driven into the Henley wall. Henley went straight up the other end of the field but saw their 18-yard shot sail over the home crossbar.
Eight minutes into the second half Ardley took the lead from short range after a clever drag back and turn in the centre of the 18-yard box saw Deon Gallagher fire home.
Five minutes later Henley came close to equalising with a long range free kick from right of the Ardley box. On 70 minutes Henley were forced to use their only substitute as High went off injured with a recurrence of a hamstring injury and was replaced by Adrian Cosman with Tommy Elmore switching to right back.
On 74 minutes the hosts extended their lead when Gallagher scored from the penalty spot following a trip in the area by a Henley defender.
Being two goals to the good Ardley were pushing hard for a third, marauding down both wings as Henley tired.
Despite trailing Henley kept pushing for a goal and at only 83 minutes a 20-yard effort tested the home keeper once more.
Four minutes from time Jaycock saved well low to his left from another long range effort while two minutes later Rupen Limbu forced the Ardley keeper into a good save with a 25-yard shot from left of goal.
Henley’s best chance of the game came on 89 minutes when the ball was bouncing aroundg the Ardley penalty area but none of the visiting players were able to get a final touch to the ball.
A minute into injury time Ardley broke away once more as Connor Haris wrapped up the scoring.
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