HENLEY TOWN advanced to the second round of the Perpetua Press Hellenic League Floodlit Cup on
HENLEY TOWN advanced to the second round of the Perpetua Press Hellenic League Floodlit Cup on Tuesday night after beating North Leigh 6-5 on penalties after the match had ended 3-3 after extra time at the Triangle.
The Red Kites took the lead after eight minutes when good work down the left wing saw Chris Nelson cross for Tommy Elmore to force the ball past the visitors’ keeper Kane Lewis.
North Leigh fought hard to gain the initiative and goals from Connor Tinsley, Ben Curtis and Alfie Saunders saw them take a 3-1 lead and look set for a place in the next round. However, in the 53rd minute Michael Davies came off the bench to replace the injured Patrick Gardner and within four minutes he reduced the deficit when his 25 yard shot sailed past Lewis to make it 3-2.
The Red Kites now saw light at the end of the tunnel and upped their game with Jack Thomson-Wheeler, Callum Carlisle and Tom Hogan, in an unaccustomed midfield role, impressing. Henley were now on top but found it hard to beat the stubborn North Leigh defence until the 86th minute when Chris Nelson worked his way down the left wing and found Thomson-Wheeler who scored the equaliser to send the match into extra time.
In the 108th minute Dan Davies’s fierce shot hit the cross bar and came down on the goal line only to be forced away by North Leigh. Then good work down the right by Dan and Michael Davies saw Nelson shoot just wide.
The game was now competitive with both sides looking to clinch the winner when in the closing stages Nelson was sent off for a tussle with a North Leigh defender.
In the penalty shoot out each side took eight penalty kicks with Henley keeper Matt Hill saving three for the Red Kites and Lewis saving two as the the hosts ran out winners.
Henley’s scorers in the shoot out were Michael Davies, Mitch Cooper, Warren Baxter, Dan Davies, Callum Carlisle and new signing Ollie Barnett.
Henley Town: Matt Hill, Chris Byrne, Matt Leigh, Mitch Cooper, Warren Baxter, Tom Hogan, Tommy Elmore, Callum Carlisle Jack Thomson-Wheeler, Patrick Gardner, Chris Nelson. Substitutes: Michael Davies, Dan Davies, Oliver Barnett, Chris Hood.