Saturday, 20 August 2022

Red Kites concede nine and scuffle leads to sending off

A SCUFFLE following a penalty saw both Henley Town and Virginia Water reduced to 10 men in their Uhlsport Hellenic Division 1 East match on Saturday.

In what was the first ever meeting between the sides, the Red Kites visited Stag Meadow on the back off their first win of the season against Thame Rangers the previous week while the hosts were after a fourth successive win.

It was not all one-way traffic in the opening stages as Henley did well to frustrate the Waters attackers. It took a 30th-minute penalty to break the deadlock when Josh Hill was brought down in the box.

Josh Guichard converted the spot-kick but he was then sent off alongside Henley’s Kurt Fitzgerald-Medford for a scuffle. The rest of the half finished without any chances of note.

Things started to go wrong for Henley almost immediately after the break. Waters dominated, hitting the post twice before they extended their lead.

Waters doubled their advantage, again from the penalty spot, when Joe McBride was brought down in the box. Paul Burrows converted.

Adam McNamara then netted a hat-trick before Adam Mills and Dan Whatford struck and Burrows hit the target twice more to complete his hat-trick and the rout.

Meanwhile, Henley Town Reserves completed their pre-season fixtures with home victories against AFC Henley U18s and AFC Corinthians Reserves.

The match against the boys at the Triangle Ground on Wednesday last week was closely contested. The youngsters were intent on playing a passing game and were looking dangerous in attack.

It was no surprise that George Carder put his side in front, having been put through the defence and slotted the ball into the net past the goalkeeper.

Nick Holzer then pulled a goal back to make it 1-1 at half-time.

Holzer was in the action straight away after the re-start and put the reserves in front with a long-range drive.

But AFC Henley were always in the game and Jack Earle brought about the equaliser.

The reserves then found themselves down to 10 men due to injury and AFC Henley tried their best to make their extra man advantage count in search of a winner.

However, it was former boys’ player Owen Derani who put the reserves back in front at 3-2 against the run of play. In the dying minutes the reserves scored again through Nico Cheesman.

On Saturday the reserves faced the Corinthians in what was a hastily rearranged fixture.

The side’s exertions on the Wednesday appeared to take its toll on Henley as they began slowly.

But Matthew Eggleton gave Henley the lead when he finished off a cross from the back post shortly before half-time.

After the re-start, a crazy five minutes for Henley allowed Corinthians to get into the game and found themselves scoring two goals in quick succession.

Henley rallied to try and get back into the game but missed several one-on-one chances .

Then, with a few minutes remaining, Cheesman was let loose through the Corinthians defence to score and salvage a draw.

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