FOLLOWING a long run of narrow defeats at the start of the season, Henley Town showed
FOLLOWING a long run of narrow defeats at the start of the season, Henley Town showed signs of coming to terms with Premier Division football when they took four points over the Bank Holiday weekend, writes John Bailey.
That will add to the interest of their two matches in the Uhlsport Hellenic League this week.
Henley were originally down to play Brimscombe and Thrupp tomorrow (Saturday), but Brimscombe are still in the FA Cup, in which they beat the Red Kites at the opening stage, so Lydney Town will now be the visitors for a 3pm kick-off.
This game looks only marginally easier than the one initially scheduled, with Lydney, who finished 12th last season, having shot up to fifth place in the table on Monday.
The two teams have never previously met in a league fixture, their only two earlier meetings being in the Hellenic Challenge Cup and Supplementary Cup in 2012-13 and 2014-15 respectively. Both games were at Henley but won by the visitors.
Tuesday’s game is away to Ardley United, kicking off at 7.45pm. They have clashed eight times in all, six of them in the league in Henley’s earlier sojourns in the Premier Division and twice in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup. Ardley have won six of these matches and drawn two. These were both in the league in the 2005-06 season.
In the current campaign, however, Ardley have not yet recaptured the form that has made them formidable opponents over the years. They stand two places below Henley in the table with the same number of points, but, crucially, with two games in hand.
Henley’s youth team began their league fixtures last week, at home to Wantage Town Youth. They went behind after 26 minutes, but Henry Horton equalised from outside the box four minutes later, though only for Wantage to regain the lead on the stroke of half-time.
The Red Kites’ goal was often under pressure in the second half, but Liam Tindell assured his side of a point as he ran through the area with 15 minutes remaining. The Wantage ‘keeper was sent off even though his attempt to bring Tindell down was ineffective. The youth team have a stiff task at home in the league against Kidlington Youth on Wednesday, kick-off 7.45pm.
There is no match for Henley Town Reserves this week, but the Sunday team, who will be performing in Division 3 (East) of the Reading and District Sunday League this season, begin their league fixtures with a home game against Berkshire Rovers, kick-off 10.30am.
The Sundays have shown encouraging form in the pre-season games.