Friday, 26 April 2019
AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U18s were left to rue a last gasp equaliser that left them rooted to the bottom of the East Berks League table last Saturday in a match in which BASINGSTOKE TOWN U18s scored in the first and final minute of the game.
The first goal came about from the kick-off when some neat interchanges down the centre of the park by the visiting team, scythed through the Hurricanes’ midfield and defence, for their forward to slot the ball neatly home.
The Hurricanes took the early goal as a wake up call and showed character and determination to get a foothold in the game.
The back four of Joseph Neighbour, Ed Lawrence, Ethan Pearce and Jack Lambourne were resolute in their defensive duties, staying compact, disciplined and strong in the tackle when necessary to restrict Basingstoke to few clear cut chances for the rest of the game.
The defence were grateful to Sam Butler in goal as Basingstoke’s only other chance in the first half saw the keeper dive at full stretch to palm the ball away from a well struck effort and then recover to block the ball out of play when it was driven back in at the second attempt.
At the other end of the pitch Henley started to turn on the style. Having opted to play a counter-attacking game in the knowledge that the Basingstoke team would dominate possession, the Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead into half time after two goals from James Goulden.
The first was a well-worked solo effort by Goulden having received the ball early from midfield to beat the last defender and fire home. The second saw a sweeping move played swiftly from back-to-front to find Jake Jones on the left wing who paced down the line beating the fullback, pulled the ball back inside for Max Gosby arriving late in the box, who in turn moved the ball on again to Goulden to slot home.
The midfield trio of Gosby, Emil Rayfield and Gabriel Langford were linking up well in midfield and provided the basis for what appeared to be a victory after 90 minutes, utilising Harry Roe and Jones on the wings to good effect throughout the match.
However, having repelled Basingstoke for much of the second half and defended a number of corners and set pieces, the Hurricanes came unstuck at the last moment when a long clearance from the away keeper was unwittingly flicked on by Rayfield and directly into the path of the Basingstoke striker who gratefully accepted the chance to level things up.
AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U12s put in a good away performance to run out 4-1 winners at BINFIELD EAGLES U12s.
The Hurricanes went into an early lead as Tom Atkinson slipped in Finnbar Scott and the striker made no mistake from 10 yards out.
The visitors were soon pegged back as a failure to clear their lines on more than one occasion gave the hosts a lifeline back into the game as Binfield drew level at 1-1.
Henry Steel was marauding down the left in an effort to get the Hurricanes back in to the lead and he earned a corner for the visitors that was to bear fruit. Atkinson fired in the corner and it caused mayhem in the opposition box to the extent that it was turned into their own net by a Binfield defender to make it 2-1 to the Hurricanes at half time.
The Hurricanes made a bright start to the second half as Tom Yeoman was sent through by Atkinson and he finished clinically to make it 3-1.
Man-of-the-match Tom Bonser anchored the midfield and shut down the Binfield danger man which allowed the Hurricanes to dominate the middle of the park. This allowed the visitors to kick on and press home their advantage.
Alec Steel playing down the right set up plenty of chances and kept the Hurricanes on the front foot. The visitors’ defence was being well marshalled by captain Luca Thomson and right back Daniel Tsoi was putting in some very strong defensive work whilst also getting forward when the opportunity presented itself.
Olly Saunders made two good saves to preserve the Hurricanes’ lead whilst also launching the visitors forward with some good distribution play.
The scoring was complete when Yeoman robbed the Binfield defence and beat a couple of defenders before calmly slotting home to make it 4-1.
AFC HENLEY HOTSPURS U12s picked up their first clean sheet of the season as they drew 0-0 at READING GIRLS U12s in a tightly fought clash.
Hotspurs started brightly with Dexter Harris forcing a good save from the home keeper. More pressure came from good build up play with Freddie Piasecki slotting a well-timed pass through to Max Cranstoun who held off a Reading defender to unleash a shot which again forced a good save.
This seemed to spur Reading into life who then started to put together some good passages of play — their first chance came when their striker went past the Henley defence and was one-on-one with keeper Ben Palmer who made a good save with his feet to deny the home side the lead.
Henley were again in debt to Palmer a few minutes later when he made a one handed diving save to his right from a Reading free-kick which had taken a heavy deflection.
The Hotspurs came back with Taro Finch breaking down the right wing where his cross found Jake Williams only for his strike to narrowly go wide.
In the last minute of the half Reading looked certain to score from close range but some good defending saw Lucas Hendley blocking the shot.
In the second half Henley had some early chances with shots from the midfield pairing of Freddie Formon and Will O’Hagan.
Tom Francis on the Hotspurs left wing was putting in some strong defensive work whilst using his pace to get forward when the opportunity presented itself and made a couple of penetrating crosses into the home penalty box.
As the game began to draw to a close Reading began to dominate possession but were unable to breach the solid Henley defence of Hendley and Harry Wildgoose.
The last chance of the game fell to Reading in the last minute who were again denied by a fine save from man-of-the-match Palmer.
04 March 2019
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