Monday, 18 February 2019

Hurricanes turn tables on league leaders Burnham

Hurricanes turn tables on league leaders Burnham

THE resurgent AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U18s climbed off the foot of the East Berks League table by beating top-of-the-table BURNHAM JUNIOR YOUTH U18s 3-2.

In an evenly contested match, visiting side Burnham started brightly and played the ball around the park with confidence. The Hurricanes were resilient in their defensive organisation with the back four of Joseph Neighbour, Ed Lawrence, Alec Strickson and Ethan Pearce restricting the visitors to shots from distance.

Having won two out of the last three, the Hurricanes took the lead when man-of-the-match Neighbour found space down the right and delivered an inswinging cross into the area for Jake Jones to get in front of the last defender and slide home.

Pawel Kaczorowski and Emil Rayfield were more than a match for the away team in the centre of the park and continued to create opportunities with their positive forward passing. The Hurricanes doubled their lead when Kaczorowski found Harry Roe on the edge of the area and he turned the centre half and smashed the ball past the keeper. Burnham continued to dominate possession and got themselves back into the game early in the second half, the ball flying high into the net from a free-kick that was flighted into the box, where the home keeper appeared to have been fouled.

Another counter-attack on the hour mark saw James Goulden's defence-splitting pass put Jones through on goal and he finished clinically to the bottom left corner.

Burnham had a player sent off for two bookable offences with 20 minutes to go but they did manage to score a further goal, again from a high cross that was headed past the home keeper. Henley held out to secure all three points.

AFC HENLEY HAWKS U12s, ran out comfortable 6-0 winners away at SANDHURST TOWN BOYS AND GIRLS RANGERS U12s in their East Berks League clash.

Despite only having nine squad players, the Hawks’ morale was high as they came out strongly from the first whistle. Good build up play between George Acock, Jamie Halliwell and Jenson Lea resulted in Halliwell opening the scoring for the Hawks following a run down the centre of the pitch.

Rangers made a counter attack that was swiftly dealt with by the Hawks’ defence, ably orchestrated by captain, Mikey Dowling. Goalkeeper Max Messias’ subsequent goal kick found it’s way to Halliwell who scored his second of the match to double his side’s lead.

Conor Quinn was in fine form and his forays into the Rangers’ area kept the home keeper busy as he pulled off several good saves. Soon after a powerful shot from Lea went just wide.

An infringement outside the box led to Lea curling home a free kick around the Rangers’ players into the top right corner of the goal to make it 3-0.

Leo Schlaefli and Lucas Wilson rotated on the left, their combination of tenacity, challenges, breaks and passes were a constant frustration to the Rangers’ squad while right back Louis Catlin enjoyed a more forward going role and linked up well with Acock. Messias was in command of his goal and made a fine save just before half-time. The Hawks’ attacking play continued into the second half with a good run from Schlaefli who made a pass through to Quinn, but his shot was saved. Minutes later, Quinn put away an assist from Wilson to make it 4-0.

Soon after Wilson supplied a through ball to Acock who netted to open his scoring account for the day taking the score to 5-0.

Lea took another free kick from outside the box and the ball came down off the crossbar but the referee waved play-on. Acock almost put away a tricky aerial shot from a Lea corner and from a subsequent corner Acock swung in a ball from the right, which led to the sixth goal of the day off one of the Rangers’ defenders.

In the final quarter Messias came out of goal and Quinn took up the gloves. Halliwell was dangerous on the break and again was unfortunate not to complete his hat-trick.

Rangers were still fighting for a goal but good defending by Messias and Dowling prevented an opportunity and Quinn went one-on-one with a Rangers striker to pull off a great save and preserve the Hawks’ clean sheet. The Hawks’ man-of-the-match award was shared between George Accock and Mike Dowling.

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