Saturday, 13 August 2022

Red Kites searching for boost to morale

HENLEY TOWN have no first-team match tomorrow (Saturday), but on Tuesday they travel to Holyport in Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, kick-off 7.45pm, writes John Bailey.

This not only continues a long run of away matches for Henley but is the first of a spate of evening games scheduled for the next few weeks.

The magnitude of last week’s defeat by Virginia Water can hardly have helped the side’s morale, their only slight consolation being that, as Virginia Water are now top of the table with a 100 per cent record, they are unlikely to meet sides of such ability too often.

Pending the arrival of any possible new players, Jock Mowatt’s main task will be the tricky one of trying to lift the confidence of his men.

Holyport have had a mixed season to date. They lost all their first three fixtures but have followed this by beating Chalfont Wasps 8-1 at home and Thame Rangers 4-3 away — a result that almost mirrors Henley’s 2-1 victory at the ASM Stadium a week earlier.

The sides first met in a friendly at Summerleaze Village in the 2005-06 season, the Villagers winning 2-1. The first competitive game followed a year later, and there have been 15 league encounters between the sides in all, mostly in Division 1 East, though both sides were in the Hellenic Premier Division in 2011-12.

The Town have won six of these meetings, compared with Holyport’s four, with four games drawn and another abandoned.

The most recent clashes came two seasons ago, when, following a 2-2 draw at the Invesco Perpetual Triangle, the Red Kites won the return match 3-1, Richard Bennett taking the field on the hour mark to score the two decisive goals.

Henley Town Reserves open their league programme tomorrow when they entertain Hurst “A”. It should be noted that the kick-off time is 2pm — an hour earlier than is currently the case in the Hellenic League.

The Sunday team are also at home in the league. Their visitors, for a 10.30am kick-off, are AFC Burghfield Reserves.

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