Monday, 18 February 2019

Hosts denied as Rangers score last-gasp equaliser

Hosts denied as Rangers score last-gasp equaliser

AFC HENLEY HOTSPURS U12s were held to a 2-2 draw in their East Berks League clash with REEVES RANGERS U12s at Jubilee Park last Saturday.

Henley applied the early pressure with Dexter Harris testing the visiting keeper with a long-range shot. The hosts took the lead following further attacking play, leading to a corner, which was well taken by Jake Williams. He found Tom Francis on the edge of the six-yard box who managed to lose his marker and headed the ball past the visitors’ keeper into the bottom right hand corner.

Rangers responded with some skillful attacking play by their forwards but were unable to breach the solid defence of man-of-the-match Harry Wildgoose and Lucas Hendley, with both making some well time tackles for the hosts.

Henley continued to have most of the possession in the first half with Freddie Piasecki and Stanley Massie dominating the midfield. Massie made a number of mazy runs through the visitors defence while Piasecki provided good distribution. By half-time, Rangers had begun to apply more pressure on the home side but the score remained 1-0 to Henley.

In the second half, Rangers continued to push for an equaliser. Ben Palmer in the Henley goal made a number of good saves to deny the visitors. However, Rangers eventually got a breakthrough after Palmer made another good diving save only for the ball to fall to an attacking striker for an easy tap in.

Henley responded with Taro Finch making some telling runs down the right wing until a coming together with a Rangers defender led to a nasty injury which ended his contribution for the day.

The Hotspurs retook the lead when a well-flighted George Khairallah cross found Williams who scored with a well-timed volley. Henley then had the chance to extend the lead when industrious right winger Freddie Formon slipped a through ball to Dexter Harris whose shot rattled the Rangers cross-bar.

A couple of substitutions seemed to revitalise Rangers who began to look for an equaliser with the last 10 minutes of the game played at a frantic pace, mainly in the Henley half.

The Henley defence assisted by Will O’Hagan with some dogged tackling in midfield, managed to keep the visitors at bay. However, the home side conceded a corner with a minute to go, which was only cleared to the edge of the penalty box finding a Rangers player who volleyed home the equaliser just seconds before the final whistle blew.

AFC HENLEY HAWKS U12s ran out 4-3 winners in their league clash with WINDSOR YOUTH MERLINS HAWKS U12s at Jubilee Park.

Henley came out strong and in the third minute, Jess Reed took full advantage of a poor clearance by the Windsor keeper, intercepting it and then putting it past him to make it 1-0.

More pressure and a series of corners followed for Henley. Lucas Wilson had a chance when a cross came over from the right, but it was too deep and the keeper managed to get there first.

The teams were well matched, and Windsor had their chances too as Max Messias got the slightest touch on a shot across goal, pushing it just wide of the post.

On 18 minutes Wilson won a corner and Jenson Lea went close to scoring as the ball bounced off the post. Following another corner, George Acock crossed to Louis Catlin who deflected the ball into the net to make it 2-0. Seconds from half time, Windsor were again victims of a poor clearance that Reed again intercepted and passed through to Lea who fired home to make it 3-0.

Early in the second half, much of the play was in the Henley half with a series of corners to Windsor forcing a defensive approach to Henley’s play.

The visitors’ persistence paid dividends at the 42nd minute when a shot took a deflection off a defender to make it 3-1.

Midway through the second half, it was all Windsor again with a series of four corners and they eventually pulled another goal back. Henley regained control of play, pressuring the Windsor defence again and after 54 minutes the Windsor keeper mis-kicked the ball and Lea picked it up and curled it round the keeper to make it 4-2.

Windsor battled on with another series of three corners as Messias made another key save. The defence worked tirelessly and Vibhu Venkateswaran came into his own in the second half.

On 58 minutes Windsor’s pressure was rewarded by another goal but Henley held on to claim the three points and move them up to third place in the table.

AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U9s made it 11 wins on the spin as they defeated visitors TWYFORD COMETS REDS U9s 3-2.

The first quarter got off to a good start with Henley pushing well into the Twyford half.

Leo Palmer played the ball well down the right wing, supplying Charlie Cooper for a shot on goal. With a handful of opportunities for both teams they managed to defend their respective lines as the quarter ended goalless.

In the second quarter Lorenzo Nicoletti-Dowd fed Corben Galloway the ball who then crossed to striker Isaac Walmsley who finished with a neat chip past the Twyford keeper to make it 1-0.

Rupert Arsyad then dribbled past a number of opposition players to deliver the ball on to Walmsley who in turn finished with a shot to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Undaunted by the deficit, Twyford mounted a series of strong attacks into the Hurricanes area and eventually pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 at half time.

In the second half the Comets upped their pace and eventually equalised with a well-taken goal.

In the final quarter Twyford were still looking threatening, passing consistently and making some hard tackles. On the left wing Josh Ashford kept up his attacking play, helping to keep the pressure on the Comets. This hard work finally paid off as Ashford fired a shot through the defence to put Henley 3-2 up.

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