HENLEY slipped to their third defeat in a row despite a promising start against Oxford Hamsters who sit third in the table
HENLEY slipped to their third defeat in a row despite a promising start against Oxford Hamsters who sit third in the table.
The home side started the stronger and were quickly pushing Oxford deep into their half. Solid play in mid-field from Simon Ward and Simon Taylor forged multiple attacks but the team were unable to get a serious shot on target.
Oxford reset their structure and started to become more involved in the game. They were then awarded a short corner which was converted against the run of play.
Spurred on by Ian Rechner proving a constant danger in the Oxford half, Henley again began to take control of the game. Following some scrappy defending the ball fell to Nick Shuttleworth in front of goal, his reverse stick shot going through the keeper’s legs for a well-deserved equaliser.
But clearly Henley hadn’t learnt their lesson from the very next attack another cheap short-corner was conceded and a mishit shot crept in at the far post.
Half-time came in timely fashion for Henley as some of the good structure and build up play was now beginning to fall apart.
The second half began with Henley in ascendance. Harry Wray was strong in defence and started several attacks down the Henley left.
Although Henley had the game under control they were failing at the last hurdle with little or no D penetration and had no meaningful shots on target. With five minutes to go the best chance to equalise fell to James Rechner inside the D but his first-time strike struck another Henley player on the foot.
The last few minutes were played out with Henley in the Oxford half and despite pushing more players forward it was clear that Oxford had the measure of the Henley attack and so they played the game out to secure the win. With the final whistle sounding Henley were left to rue the soft goals they had conceded.
Next up for the team is a double header this weekend with away games at Chiswick and Leighton Buzzard where one win at least is a must requirement.
Team: B Boydell, J Williams, H Wray, M Watkins, R Wiseman, S Ward, S Taylor, A Green, J Williams, I Rechner, N Emmett, J Rechner.