Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Red Kites miss out on league fixture

CARTERTON Football Club, who were due to entertain Henley Town tomorrow (Saturday) in the Premier Division

CARTERTON Football Club, who were due to entertain Henley Town tomorrow (Saturday) in the Premier Division of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, formally withdrew from the league on Monday afternoon, writes John Bailey.

The news did not come as a complete surprise because they had failed to raise teams for their previous four fixtures, presumably incurring a hefty fine.

After they had begun the season by playing three league matches and an FA Cup tie, their manager resigned, with most of the players following in his wake.

A new management team was appointed last week but also proved unable to put a team together.

Carterton were promoted this season, having won the championship of Division 1 (West).

Cheltenham Saracens, who were due to be promoted from second place, had also faced a walk-out by both manager and players and only agreed to stay in the league if they could remain in the lower division.

Henley gained promotion from Division 1 (East) as the two sides who finished above them had inadequate facilities. They, too, suffered an unexpected managerial change during the summer but now seem to be steadying the ship.

Besides emphasising the lack of loyalty in football, these events give further proof of what a large step promotion from Division 1 to the top level can frequently turn out to be.

There is another league match for Henley on Tuesday when they travel to Bracknell Town for a 7.45pm kick-off. Bracknell finished 14th last season but, though then a division above the Town, lost by the only goal of the game on the Triangle in the third round of the Reading Senior Cup. They moved up to seventh place in the table after Saturday’s games, following a 5-2 win at Burnham.

Jordan Goddard, having served his suspension, will be available for selection by the Red Kites. Goalkeeper Matt Hill, who made an excellent impression in his first two games for Henley, was obtained on a transfer from Ascot United.

Two players have been transferred out. Jordan Gumbs, who had made two appearances for the Red Kites, once as a substitute, has returned to Penn and Tylers Green, while former captain Richard Thomas, who does not expect to play regularly this season, has moved to Finchampstead, where he lives.

Henley Town Reserves are at home in the league on Saturday against Thame United Reserves, kicking off at 3pm.

In last week’s game away to Holyport Reserves, they conceded goals in the 6th and 36th minutes, but Bailey Curtis reduced the arrears three minutes later. Holyport increased their lead soon after the Interval, but Sam Williams, in his second spell at Henley, made it 3-2 from the penalty spot, but only for Holyport to double their lead before the finish.

The youth team drew again in their second league outing, but, though their game produced no goals, gave a better performance at Highmoor Ibis than in their previous match.

The Red Kites put the home side under pressure for long periods: Henry Horton and Liam Tindell had several near misses, while Tindell also had a penalty saved. Wednesday night’s advertised game against Kidlington had to be postponed as Kidlington had an FA Youth Cup tie. Next Wednesday, the youths visit their counterparts from Thame United in a league fixture, kicking off at 7.45pm.

The Sunday team, who went to the top of the table as a result of their big win on opening day, visit Park Villa for a league match this match, kick-off 10.30am.

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