NEWLY promoted Henley 1sts started their competitive season with a first round victory in the HA Cup against a side
NEWLY promoted Henley 1sts started their competitive season with a first round victory in the HA Cup against a side who were in their division last season.
Following a testing but successful pre-season campaign, which has seen Henley amass 30 goals in five matches, confidence was high going into the match.
On a warm afternoon the match started at a high-tempo. Ross Hibberd showed some sublime skills on the left wing and carved out numerous early chances for the forward pairing of Jonny Taylor and Geoff Joseph.
Barnes stood firm whilst offering little threat going forward. It took Henley almost 30 minutes to open the scoring when Henley captain Ed Foster played a neat give-and-go with Joseph before flicking the ball high past the onrushing Barnes goalkeeper.
The second half saw much of the same, with consistent Henley pressure at the start of the half. Henley doubled their lead, again through Ed Foster, who latched on to a loose ball in the Barnes D to strike crisply into the corner of the goal.
Henley were in full control at this point with Rhys Joyce and Robbie Mortimer controlling the game in midfield, supported well by new recruit Rob Rowe just behind them. On the hour mark came the goal of the match as a through-ball by Ian Heggie found Foster, who completed his hat-trick with a reverse stick strike into the top left hand corner of the Barnes goal.
At 3-0 up Henley were seemingly cruising to victory but two late Barnes break-away goals in five minutes left the home side on edge, and in the final moments it took a reaction save by Henley goalkeeper Roy Cox to ensure the amber and blues progressed to the next round.
Henley will now face national league opponents in the next round, as they welcome Southgate to Jubilee Park on November 1.