HENLEY 1sts secured all three points in their bid for survival in the South Premier 1
HENLEY 1sts secured all three points in their bid for survival in the South Premier 1 at Lewes on Saturday.
On the back of a run of three wins in 4 games including a dramatic added time winner at Banbury, Henley had guaranteed no worse than a ninth place finish and ensured they avoided one of the three automatic relegation slots.
Henley took the lead in the first minute when Benji Hetherington picked a tackle in the middle of the park and swift interplay down the right side involving Joyce, Hibberd and Gupta cut through through the Lewes defence for Chris Green to fire home from eight yards.
Lewes equalised on 24 minutes when Chris Spruce picked the ball up on the halfway line close to the right touchline, cut inside, avoided four tackles, drove to the top left of the circle and unleashed a reverse stick shot, their first on target, through the legs of goalkeeper Roy Cox, who was playing his last match for the club after being involved for 12 years.
Despite a number of other forays and good opportunities Lewes failed to translate their dominance into any more goals, and whilst Ed Hughes Burne received a yellow card just before the interval for a clumsy challenge that tripped up Chris Spruce on another mazy dribble, the score remained level at half-time.
The visitors had the better of the second half and despite having Rob Mortimer yellow carded, they restored their lead 13 minutes from time when more good work form Hibberd and Heaver down the right saw the ball flash across the goal and partially cleared. Green picked the ball up on the wide left, played a neat one-two with Gupta, before slotting from a very tight angle to collect his second of the game.
A few minutes later Gupta scored a well earned goal of his own. With Lewes throwing men forward, Henley created several break opportunities, one of which resulted ina the ball being fed to Gupta who was left one-on-one with the keeper and produced a shot that looped over the Lewes goalkeeper.
Henley 1sts: R Foggoa, R Mortimer, E Hughes-Burne, T Gaze, D Herbert, R Hibberd, R Joyce, B Hetherington, J Taylor, E Foster, J Measures, G Joseph, R Woolfrey, C Green.