HENLEY continued their fine start to their South Premier League Division 1 campaign as they triumphed 3-0 away to Spencer last Saturday.
The visitors got off to a perfect start with a goal inside the opening minutes. Captain Ed Foster was released down the right flank, before crossing the ball across the face of the goal to Geoff Joseph who slotted home.
Henley looked dangerous on the break and came close to extending their lead before Spencer began to exert their presence and looked comfortable in possession.
The amber and blues held the lead into the break thanks to good defence from Mani Kochar and man-of-the-match Rob Mortimer.
Henley extended the lead shortly after the restart, Chris Green finding the goal from the back post. From here on in the game began to open up as Spencer searched for a way back in. However, the visitors dealt the killer blow, Green snaking down the base line and playing the ball back to Ross Hibberd to turn into the goal.
Spencer continued to press in the closing period, which saw a flurry of cards, but Henley held on to claim their first clean sheet of the season.
TIM BARRASS marked his return to competitive hockey after a long break with a hat-trick, securing a valuable three points for hosts Henley 3rds.
Henley started with impressive pace, making some incisive moves into the Witney area and looking threatening.
Against the run of play Witney struck first. A long and unexpected aerial ball from a 16-yard hit caught the Henley defence by surprise, with the Witney centre forward grounding the ball and advancing into the amber and blues’ area before finishing neatly.
Following the goal Henley’s back line of Conway-Hughes, Austin, Cordrey and Shuttleworth closed ranks and repeatedly thwarted any Witney attacking effort. They were well supported by hard work and tough tackling from Ian Rechner, Ed Newbold and James Lane.
The home side started to build patiently, passing neatly and proving threatening up both flanks as Witney had no answer for the youth, pace and skill of Henley’s attack.
Henley equalised when a move started by Cheesman and Brown led to a rebound from the goalkeeper, with Barrass snapping up the rebound.
Early in the second half Henley soaked up five minutes of Witney pressure before taking the lead when Herbert dribbled the ball before crossing to Barrass at the back post to fire home.
Barrass’s third came after he pounced eagerly on a loose ball from close in, following excellent work from Cheesman.
Not content with securing his own hat-trick, Barrass charged down a Witney 16-yard hit, before passing the ball square to the unmarked Brown who calmly slotted the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs.