Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Dogged defence helps Kites seal first points

BUOYED from their first win of the season, Henley Town were searching for more points

BUOYED from their first win of the season, Henley Town were searching for more points to kick-start their season.

But straight from the kick-off Flackwell Heath put the Red Kites defence under severe pressure and only outstanding defending and good work by new goalkeeper Matt Hill stopped them from scoring.

Against the run of play Henley took the lead in the 11th minute when Nile O’Meally outpaced Heath’s defence down the right flank and cut in to fire past Dave Lyons in goal.

The visitors counter-attacked but found the Henley defenders and goalkeeper in outstanding form and they held out to go into the interval a goal to the good.

After the break the pattern of play continued with the defenders holding firm to constant attacks.

Henley introduced Tommy Elmore for Dan Blackwell in the 55th minute and he took part in the build-up which ended with Richard Bennett putting Henley 2-0 up after 61 minutes.

Flackwell Heath had defender Dan Hicks sent off in the 63rd minute for two bookings but this didn’t put them off their stride and were cheered on by a large band of noisy supporters.

They finally found the net in the 74th minute when Mitchell Woodward shot past Matt Hill from 18 yards.

This encouraged the Heathens and they levelled the scores three minutes later when Liam Tack slotted the ball home in a crowded six-yard box.

With 15 minutes to play both sides were tiring and a 2-2 draw was a fair result.

Henley Town: Matt Hill; Callum Carlisle, Mitch Cooper, Warren Baxter, Brad Hoy, Ben Blackwell, Jack Thomson-Wheeler, Richard Bennett, Chris Nelson, Nile O’Meally. Subs: Tommy Elmore, Ben French, Matt Godwin, Tom Hogan.

HENLEY TOWN started very brightly against a Burnham side in disarray as manager Dave Tuttle left the club on Monday last week.

The Red Kites went close in the ninth minute with Nile O’Meally cutting in from the left and his shot just going wide of the post.

The pressure paid off and five minutes later Dan Davies passed the ball out wide to Chris Nelson who attacked space before playing a neat pass to Grant Kemp who returned the favour with an excellent ball and Nelson made no mistake.

But for all their hard work, a minute later Henley gave away a soft goal, which has been the side’s downfall so far this season, having been pegged back soon after taking the lead in previous matches.

In the 23rd minute Dan Davies ran the ball into Nile O’Meally’s path and he made no mistake with an 18-yard shot to make it 2-1.

Henley then hit the post three minutes later after Dan Davies played a one-two with Jack Thomson-Wheeler who hit the post with the keeper beaten. The Red Kites dominated possession after the restart and were soon awarded a penalty.

Centre back Mitch Cooper collected a corner ball inside the Burnham penalty box but he then fell to the ground after being pushed in the back and the referee blew his whistle and pointed to the penalty spot.

Captain Grant Kemp collected the ball placed on to the spot, Kemp went to the keeper’s bottom right and the Burnham keeper got down brilliantly to push around the post for a corner.

In the 63rd minute, Jack Thomson-Wheeler crossed a ball from the right hand side for a perfect pass for Chris Nelson running into the back post placing his head on to the ball and past the helpless Burnham keeper to score the best goal of the match, making it 3-1 to Henley.

Within a minute of the restart Henley were 4-1 up with an own goal from Burnham.

Henley pressed for more goals but Burnham never gave up and continued to attack. Then in the 68th minute Tom Hogan conceded a penalty for a foul inside Henley’s box which Burnham converted.

Henley keeper Ben Hitchens dived to the right but the ball had so much power it went under his body.

Chris Nelson then came off for a great round of applause with two goals and Tommy Elmore came on, making his debut for Henley in the 81st minute.

Henley then kept the ball as far away from their box as they could following instructions from new signing Ian Brooks to some of the younger members of the team. They duly hung on for their first win of the season.

Henley Town: Ben Hitchens, Callum Carlisle, Mitch Cooper, Tom Hogan, Warren Baxter, Dan Davies, Grant Kemp (capt), Jack Thomson-Wheeler, Nile O’Meally, Ian Brooks, Chris Nelson. Subs: James Griffiths, Tommy Elmore, Liam Tindell.

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