Captain double strike helps earn amber and blues opening day win
HENLEY started the new league season in style with a comfortable 4-1 victory at home to
HENLEY started the new league season in style with a comfortable 4-1 victory at home to Guildford on Saturday.
Making Henley league debuts were Henry Emmett, taking over in goal from Roy Cox and Alex Land and Steve Harding, both joining from neighbours Marlow to bolster the midfield.
Henley started the brighter and took an early lead, Chris Green combining with Ross Hibberd to find the baseline and pull the ball back for Hibberd to tap home with a first time finish.
Guildford began applying the pressure and were quick to reply from a set piece. Henley defended the first penalty corner but a second one was tucked away for the equaliser.
Henley regained the lead after Sam Heaver marauded down the right flank to pull back to captain Ed Foster for a finish high past the goalkeeper.
Henley managed to put some distance between the sides mid-way through the second half after a period of fluid hockey. The Guildford goalkeeper was standing strong to the barrage of assaults on the visitors’ goal, but was finally beaten by a backhand smash from Jonny Taylor off a looping rebound.
The result was confirmed minutes later, with Hibberd stealing the ball off the sweeper in the resolute defensive press and finding Foster in the area once again to slide home for his second of the day and earning himself the man-of-the-match plaudits in the process.
HENLEY 3rds marked a successful start to the league season with an emphatic 6-1 victory at home to Aylesbury 3rds.
Starting with an attacking formation and a powerful combination of youth and experience, Henley put the visitors under pressure from the start.
The midfield of James Baker, Julian Herbert, James Rechner and John-Joe Cottam dominated possession, providing the forwards with quality passes and continually threatening the Aylesbury defence.
With repeated waves of attacks, goals looked to be inevitable and the first came from a well-taken finish by Timothy Herbert. His brother Matthew then pounced to score the second following a good phase of play, and James Baker slotted a penalty corner following a neat one-two with Guy Harmer.
Aylesbury managed to get a goal back against the run of play, a quick break catching the otherwise impenetrable Henley defence napping. However James Rechner restored the lead to take the score to 4-1 at the break.
The home side continued their domination in the second half, with Aylesbury playing deeper in an attempt to try and thwart the home side’s attacking play. However, this was to no avail, as Baker scored from another penalty corner following a neat shimmy, and Ed Newbold scored the sixth to cap off a fine performance.
Henley 3rds: M Cordrey, R Austin, E Newbold, T Pollard, J Herbert, T Bodeker, J Baker, J-J Cottam, H Wray, G Harmer, T Herbert, S Brown, J Rechner, M Herbert.
• Elsewhere last Saturday Henley 2nds drew 2-2 at Sonning while Henley 4ths ran out 3-1 winners away to Harrow 2nds.