Friday, 15 February 2019

Acock’s goals help Hawks move into pole position

Acock’s goals help Hawks move into pole position

VISITORS AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U18s were left frustrated after going down to a 3-1 East Berks League defeat at CROOKHAM ROVERS WARRIORS U18s last Saturday.

The Hurricanes effectively lost the game in the final two minutes of the first half when two goals were conceded in quick succession. The first came from a crossfield pass to the ever-menacing number 19 – a tactic used to great effect by Crookham – who used his pace to get behind the Henley defence to slot the ball into the corner of the net. The second goal, moments later, saw the home side smash the ball low through the 18-yard box after Henley failed to clear the ball from a corner, in the final seconds of the period.

Despite Crookham showing the greater speed and intensity, the match had been evenly contested up to the first goal, with some solid defending from Ethan Pearce, Jack Lambourne, Joe Neighbour and Ed Lawrence, together with some fine saves from Sam Butler, helping to keep the home side at bay.

Henley’s lack of movement and sharpness in passing, particularly in midfield, saw few chances to open up space and create goal scoring opportunities, despite energetic running from Jake Jones and the attacking duo of Harry Roe and Christian Oswald.

In the second half a reorganisation in formation saw Henley play a more positive and higher quality of attacking football.

Hurricanes’ man-of-the-match, Jake Jones impressed in the second half, helped by the additional space in midfield, and clever link-up play from Pawel Kaczorowski and Gabriel Langford, to provide much of the creativity to launch attacks on Crookham’s goal.

The Hurricanes’ goal, midway through the second half came from a corner, which Emil Rayfield fired home, after a Lawrence assist, from a corner.

Despite valiant attempts from Henley to equalise, putting the away side under pressure for the majority of the second half, the home side wrapped up the match with their third goal just seconds from the end of the game.

AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U14s went down to a 3-1 home defeat against KEW RANGERS U14s.

The Hurricanes started well and took the lead when Theo Lock broke down the left and after the keeper had pulled off two saves Danny McAllister was on hand score the rebound.

Kew started to force their way back into the game and equalised after a solo run by their centre forward. With little between the two sides Kew took the lead just before half-time after a slip in the Hurricanes defence.

Both teams created chances in the second half and eventually Kew netted their third of the game with a top corner strike from 20 yards to give Freddie Nicholson no chance in the Hurricanes goal.

There was still time to recover with Seb Van Duijn pulling the strings in midfield and putting in a man-of-the-match display but the Hurricanes could not find another way to break down a strong Kew defence as the visitors ran out winners.

AFC HENLEY HAWKS moved to the top of the table following their 5-1 home win against DARBY GREEN AND POTLEY DYNAMOS U12s.

Play started slowly and in the first quarter neither side were dominant with Jenson Lea and George Acock both testing the visiting defence. The hosts took the lead when a Lea corner was fired home by Daniel Flowers.

Conor Quinn, who came on as a substitute, was denied by the Dynamos keeper in a one-on-one situation.

Following a flurry of Henley activity, the Dynamos regrouped and countered and levelled the scores after 26 minutes.

Soon after the Dynamos countered again but Hawks’ keeper Max Messias pulled off a good save as the half ended with the score at 1-1. Ben Hemmings came on after the break and immediately made his presence known with some strong tackles and runs up the right. Within a minute of the whistle, the Hawks were awarded a free kick well outside the Dynamo box where Harry Graham was denied by the visiting goalkeeper.

The Hawks took the lead again on 42 minutes when a Graham shot in from distance was saved but the ball rebounded into the box where Acock ran in to score. Soon after Louis Catlin made a tackle and passed through to Leo Schlaefli who set up Quinn to make a break for goal and score to make it 3-1.

Minutes later Lea was on the break on the left where he took it into the box and shot across goal and past the keeper taking the score to 4-1 with only a couple of minutes to go. With almost the last kick of the game Acock shot from a narrow angle to wrap up the scoring for the Hawks.

AFC HENLEY HOTSPURS U12s drew their home match 1-1 against league leaders CAMBERLEY RAVENS U12s in a closely fought clash. Henley started brightly with Jake Williams and Freddie Formon testing the visitors defence. Camberley countered but were unable to breach the solid defence of Harry Wildgoose and man-of-the-match Sam Carter.

Camberley had the first shot on target but were denied by a good save from Ben Palmer in the Henley goal, diving low to his right to push a shot out for a corner.

The home side reacted with good build up play in midfield by Max Cranstoun and Will O’Hagan feeding the ball out to Tom Francis on the left wing whose shot forced a good save from the Camberley keeper. Just before half-time the visitors took the lead from a corner with their striker losing his marker and shooting low into the corner of the net.

In the second half Dexter Harris’ pace caused the visiting defence problems. The equalising goal came from a well weighted through ball from George Khairallah finding O’Hagan on the right wing where his powerful shot beat the visiting goalkeeper.

As the game progressed both teams had chances to take the lead. Camberley came close a number of times but were unable to score with Stanley Massie making a number of important tackles.

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