HENLEY LADIES 1sts knocked South Clubs’ Division 2 leaders Oxford University off the top of the table at Jubilee Park on Saturday.
Oxford quickly showed their intentions hitting a ball straight at Henley’s defence but their progress was thwarted by good tackles by Kath Draycott and Rachel Herbert.
Henley began to stretch Oxford’s defence with good ball distribution through Kat Green in the middle which enabled Emma Walker on the wing to quickly pass to Serena Hickman on the edge of the attacking D.
Having the visitors’ defence quickly on to her, Hickman hit the ball to Esme Walker on the penalty spot who, with her first touch, slapped the ball between the keeper’s legs to put the hosts ahead.
With a lapse of concentration from the visitors, Hickman found herself free at the top of Oxford D. Receiving the ball from Jem Barham in the middle, Hickman turned and struck the ball past the keeper and into the bottom right hand corner to put Henley into a 2-0 lead.
In the second half Oxford immediately put the amber and blues defence under pressure. Consistent tackles from Jen Buckham and good saves from Jen Sawyer in goal kept the visitors at bay. Henley broke on the counterattack with Barham showing good stick skills around Oxford’s defence and hitting the ball into the back of the net to put the hosts 3-0 up.
The visitors hit back and were rewarded for their efforts by firing the ball between the legs of Sawyer in goal.
Oxford kept their momentum going resulting in a second goal soon after but the hosts held out to secure all three points.
HENLEY LADIES 2nds picked up a much needed three points in their quest to avoid relegation from the Trysports Three Counties League Premier Division 1 against Phoenix and Ranelagh 1sts on Saturday.
Henley started the stronger, immediately breaking forwards through the right midfield with Heggie, Shaw and Rogers using space down that flank.
The Henley forward line-up of Butler, Lambourne, Brown, Roseff, Halloran and Jeremy ran tirelessly to create space and opportunities on the flank and through the middle.
It was a goal-ward run from Jeremy that created the opener. Spotted by Green, who played a good ball into the D, Jeremy ran at pace and touched the ball under the goalkeeper’s legs. The second goal soon followed as Henley capitalised on continued pressure and possession. Shaw managed to complete a run into the D with a reverse stick finish to give Henley a two goal cushion. Phoenix began to get back into the game, using long balls across the D to try to decrease the deficit but the Henley defence of Pocock, Walker, Engelmark and Green were resolute. Goalkeeper and man-of-the-match Lavis reacted quickly to the attacking play, standing tall and coming out strongly to defend the lead with several top quality saves.
In the second half the pressure began to build further as Phoenix concentrated on their right side attacking play. This resulted in a period of sustained left sided defensive play from Nutt, Walker and Harris to contain the attack.
An injury stoppage gave Henley a chance to compose themselves and then to see out the game without conceding.
Henley Ladies 2nds: H Lavis, A Pocock, K Walker, M Engelmark, T Heggie, H Jeremy, C Shaw, S Rogers, O Brown, E Roseff, K Butler, M Lambourne, R Nutt, L Harris, K Halloran, K Green.
HENLEY LADIES 2nds slipped to a 4-1 defeat away to Maidenhead 2nds.
The visitors took the lead through Harris, midway through the first half as she hit home from close range.
The hosts hit back following a period of sustained pressure to take the lead with two quick goals.
Henley were unable to re-discover their early form and two further goals were conceded.
Henley Ladies 2nds: H Lavis, A Pocock, K Walker, M Engelmark, T Heggie, H Jeremy, C Shaw, S Rogers, O Brown, E Roseff, K Butler, M Lambourne, R Nutt, L Harris, K Draycott, K Halloran.