HENLEY 1sts maintained their seven point lead at the top of South League Premier Division 2 thanks to a 3-1
HENLEY 1sts maintained their seven point lead at the top of South League Premier Division 2 thanks to a 3-1 win away to local rivals Marlow.
Henley were not helped by an injury in the warm up to Rhys Joyce and the opening exchanges were frantic, resulting in two yellow cards in the first eight minutes for the visitors, reducing them to nine players in the early exchanges. This resulted in almost full Marlow possession as the away side backed off and tried to maintain a good shape until they were back to 11 men.
Despite all their possession and territorial advantage, Marlow were unable to break down the well-drilled and determined Henley nine and against the run of play it was Henley who took the lead.
A long range pass from Mani Kochar found Ross Hibberd in space on the right wing, who showed good skills to win a short corner.
Following a good save from a David Ralph drag-flick, and an Ed Foster follow up, Tom Walter slotted the ball past the Marlow goalkeeper, to score his first goal for the amber and blues.
Once Henley were back to 11 players the game became much more of an even contest with Henley looking dangerous on the break whilst Marlow still dominated possession.
In the second half the Henley forward pairing of Chris Green and Gupta started causing Marlow problems. Henley doubled their lead through Green who smashed home a half volley, after he was found by a pass from Jonny Taylor.
Henley added a third goal through Geoff Joseph, who was on hand to lift the ball over the Marlow goalkeeper after Foster’s drag-flick was saved on the line from a short corner attempt. Although Marlow were still full of running they rarely threatened Roy Cox in the Henley goal.
Marlow were eventually awarded for their efforts as they scored a late consolation goal from a short corner.