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Wednesday, 21 March 2018
HENLEY 4ths ended up on the wrong side of an eight-goal thriller against top-of-the-table Reading in a hard fought end-to-end game at Jubilee Park.
The amber and blues were fast out of the blocks taking the game straight to Reading being in the ascendancy from the start.
Henley almost scored in the first five minutes with Tim Cima going close following good work from Ian Recher in midfield. Henley kept the pressure on and a few minutes later Ewan Watkins broke down the right drove to the byline and crossed for Jules Aplin to fire home.
Reading were now on the back foot and minutes later Ewan Watkins made the same move down the right and his cross was again met by Aplin who swept home to put Henley 2-0 up.
Reading responded by adjusting their formation and slowly clawed their way back into the game, by exploiting an overlap down the Henley left and despite a good first save by Ryan Foggia managed to scramble the ball over the line.
The visitors continued to push and were only denied a second by a last-ditch goal line clearance by Jon Wiliams. Worse was to follow for Henley with defender Simon Ward suffering a heavy knock on the knee and forcing him off.
Again Henley responded and following the award of a long corner on their right the ball was quickly moved by Martyn Watkins to Ewan Watkins who once again used his skill and pace to get to the byline and cross this time for Neil Emmett to convert to make it 3-1 at half-time.
The second half began with the return of Ward to the fray, but within minutes his central defensive partner Adam Warner limped off with a torn hamstring. Henley regrouped but gaps were beginning to show and Reading forced a short corner from which they scored with a well worked routine.
It was now all Reading and worse was to follow when Ward again went down injured and had to be replaced. With both central defenders now missing Henley were struggling and in minutes Reading scored two quick goals to take a 4-3 lead.
Henley were now throwing caution to the wind to try and find an equaliser and it looked possible with Simon Taylor getting off a quick shot in front of goal only for the Reading keeper to deny him.
Reading countered and with the clock ticking down forced another short corner, the same routine was used and again a good goal scored with a flick into the net to secure a 5-3 victory.
Henley 4ths: R Foggia, D Rechner, A Warner, M Watkins. S Ward, J Williams, S Taylor, E Newbold, N Emmett, E Watkins, T Cima, I Rechner, J Aplin.
26 February 2018
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