Friday, 15 February 2019
AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U18s ran out 3-0 winners in their East Berks League clash at ASCOT UNITED ACES U18s thanks to a strong display of attacking football as they made it two wins out of three and capitalised on their recent form.
Both teams started brightly, but it was in midfield where Henley took early control with Gabriel Langford, Emil Rayfield and Jake Jones connecting well. Their work rate and creativity provided several early opportunities for runs down both channels from Harry Roe and Ethan Pearce. In the ninth minute Pearce found himself in space in the 18-yard box, where he took his chance well, coolly slotting the ball into the corner of the net.
Spurred into action by this early deficit Ascot pressed Henley but despite a flurry of attacks failed to trouble the well organised defence of Sam Butler, Jack Lambourne, Alec Strickson and Ed Lawrence.
It was Pearce again that opened another goal scoring opportunity in the 21st minute, when driving into the opposition box from the left flank only to be brought down in the box. Gabe stepped up to take the penalty, sending the goal keeper the wrong way, to extend the visitors lead.
AFC Henley maintained the pressure in the second half, extending their lead in the 61st minute when Gabe’s curling free kick from 20 yards looped over the Ascot defence and into the corner of the net.
However, Henley lost Gabe mid-way through the half when he was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.
Despite the visitors being reduced to 10 men, AFC Henley maintained their disciplined and well-organised approach and Ascot were unable to get back into the match.
Henley rode their luck at times when several Ascot shots rebounded off the posts, although a late strike from distance by Roe also struck the bar and AFC Henley came away with a and hard-won victory.
AFC HENLEY HAWKS U12s went down to a narrow 4-3 East Berks League defeat against ASCOT UNITED COLTS U12s.
Ascot came out strongly and had a lucky break when the bobbly pitch helped the ball pop over the line in the first five minutes. Seven minutes later Ascot made it 2-0.
The Hawks created several chances with Conor Quinn having a shot saved after a good break left him one on one with the keeper. Jenson Lea followed this up with a fine corner but no-one connected to put it away.
Henley goalkeeper Max Messias pulled off a couple of good saves to prevent the score line rising while Jamie Halliwell and Lea both had shots that went just wide. In the dying minutes of the half Ascot netted again to make it 3-0.
The Hawks took the second half by the scruff of the neck and within five minutes the hard work of Lucas Wilson running down the left wing resulted in a pass through to man-of-the-match Oliver Duncan who netted his first goal of the season.
The Ascot keeper was kept busy with more shots from Quinn and Halliwell. Daniel Flowers had a chance as he took the ball from his left back position and stormed up the field, but his shot was saved.
With close to 10 minutes remaining George Acock’s persistence paid off as he steamed in from the right wing, getting past the Ascot defence to put home the Hawks second of the day to reduce the arrears to 3-2.
A corner from Lea was close to being converted by Halliwell who got into space by the far post. Flowers had another strong punt from distance while nothing was getting past defenders Mikey Dowling, Louis Catlin and Leo Schlaefli as they tackled, cleared and drove forward.
Halliwell eventually levelled the scores as he powered a shot into the top corner of the goal.
With less than five minutes on the clock Ascot managed to score what proved to be the decisive goal. Soon after Henley were awarded a penalty for handball. Lea stepped up to take the spot kick to the right of the keeper who managed to pull off a good save.
21 January 2019
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