Saturday, 15 December 2018

Nomads & Highmoor next up for managerless Kites

HENLEY TOWN have two league fixtures this week with every point now vital, writes John Bailey.

HENLEY TOWN have two league fixtures this week with every point now vital, writes John Bailey.

Caretaker manager Jock Mowatt could hardly have had a more formidable task than to be brought in at short notice to take charge of a side still haemorrhaging players in a game against the league leaders.

As feared last week, by Saturday Grant Kemp had transferred to Binfield and Jordan Goodard to Wokingham. In addition, Richard Bennett, who went to Binfield at the start of the season but then returned to Henley, has now moved into the Combined Counties League with Badshot Lea. Of the 14 players who took the field in the Reading Senior Cup final in May, only four now remain. These include Andrew Nunn, then playing in goal but currently on the field, and Ben Clark, whose broken leg is likely to keep him on the sidelines for a long while yet.

Players of the calibre of some of those who have left cannot be replaced overnight. In the meantime, Mowatt’s first task must be to maintain the team’s fighting spirit and unity of purpose. These will sometimes enable a side to pick up points in games against opponents with more technical ability.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Henley are at home to Oxford City Nomads, kick-off 3pm. Though there is no such thing as an easy league fixture for the Red Kites, this one gives them more chance than most of picking up a point or three. At Oxford in August, the home side won only by the odd goal, scored after the Town had used all their substitutes and then been reduced to 10 men through injury. The Nomads stand only two points above Henley in the lower reaches of the table.

On Tuesday, the Town visit Highmoor Ibis for a 7.45pm kick-off. The Reading side are currently 13th in the league but they have played fewer games than any other side and won more than they have lost. Since the amalgamation between Highmoor and Ibis in 2001, they have met Henley only three times, each of them at home and in the Reading Senior Cup, where they have a 2-1 lead on victories to date.

Henley Town Reserves fell to the foot of the table at the weekend when they lost 4-0 away to Chalfont Wasps Reserves, a team they had previously beaten at home. Tomorrow they visit Thame United Reserves in the league, kick-off 3pm.

The youth team gained their first win of the season over Buckingham Athletic Youth, who had won all their previous games. Midway through the opening half, Liam Tindell was brought down in the box and converted the resultant penalty. After the interval, Henry Horton was also again on the score-sheet, striking from 25 yards out. Substitute Harvey Priddy added a further goal, and it was stoppage time before Buckingham could reduce the arrears, leaving the home side 3-1 winners.

On Monday, the youths visit Chesham United Youth in the league, kicking off at 7.45pm. The Sunday team play only their fourth league fixture of the season, away to Forest, kick-off 10.30am.

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: Tributes paid after rugby player's death

POLL: Have your say