Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Winters levels from rebound for visitors

Winters levels from rebound for visitors

AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U12s put in one of their best performances of the season as they drew 3-3 at table toppers WINDSOR JAGUARS U12s on Saturday.

The Jaguars defence had only conceded four goals all season and Henley’s task looked ominous as they went 1-0 down early on.

The Hurricanes responded valiantly as one of the men-of-the-match, goalkeeper Olly Saunders, sent a long goal kick to striker Sam Winters to power his way through the Windsor backline, round the keeper before netting the equaliser. Ethan Holliday was having a solid game protecting the back three whilst keeping possession and showed some shrewd distribution.

More slack defending from the visitors allowed the hosts to stretch into a 3-1 lead and leave the Hurricanes facing an uphill task.

Tom Yeoman then ran down the left wing leaving three Windsor defenders in his wake before delivering a pin point cross to Winters in the middle to head home and reduce the arrears just before half-time.

The visitors were now firing on all cylinders and Olly Colvin was proving to be a real threat down the wing with his vision and trickery. The Hurricanes defence was also looking solid as Tom Bonser and Daniel Tsoi were tackling tenaciously and denying the Jaguars front line any space or time on the ball.

On the rare occasions they did get through captain Luca Thomson was there to snuff out any danger with his customary astute positioning and physicality.

Sam Robinson was marauding down the left wing and was unfortunate not to draw the scores level as he shot narrowly wide. The other man of match, Tom Atkinson, was showing his versatility as one moment he was back defending and the next he was launching the Hurricanes forward with his perfectly weighted through balls and ability to shoot from range.

The pressure that these two players brought eventually led to Joe Turner being released into the opposition penalty box and his snap shot drew a save from the Windsor keeper only for Winters to pounce on the rebound to level the scores.

Turner went close to snatching a late winner but the Jaguars hung on to secure a point.

AFC HENLEY HAWKS U12 were held to a 2-2 draw at home to WOODLEY SAINTS EAGLES U12s, a result that saw them maintain their third place spot in the league.

The Jubilee Park ground was lumpy and the run of the pitch was slow with the ball bouncing in random directions making control and movement more challenging.

Play was even early on with the visitors taking the lead after 10 minutes. The Hawks equalised after 26 minutes when a throw in from Mikey Dowling found its way to Lucas Wilson who shot to the right of the Eagles’ keeper.

The second half opened with Dowling replacing Conor Quinn in goal and after 34 minutes the replacement keeper pulled off a good save.

The Hawks were pressing well and the defensive team of Vibhu Vadhoolan, Louis Catlin, Leo Schlaefli and Daniel Flowers kept the Eagles’ attack under control.

Striker Harry Graham made a run left of centre and took a punt on goal from distance. The ball was running out of steam as it reached goal, but the keeper made a fumble meaning Graham’s on-target shot put the Hawks 2-1 up at half-time.

The Hawks kept on the pressure and had several chances in the last quarter — Jenson Lea had an attempt on goal after 49 minutes but the keeper pulled off a finger-tip save.

The final five minutes saw renewed energy from the Eagles and good play from both sides. With three minutes remaining the Eagles scored again to make it 2-2.

The Hawks were then on a mission to keep their streak of league wins intact and were pressing the Eagles’ defence hard. George Acock won a free kick outside the Eagles’ box and Lea took a shot on goal but the entire Eagles’ team was now defending. The shot went inches over the cross bar and after a corner to the Hawks taken by Graham and more frenetic activity in the box, the final whistle blew.

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