Sunday, 15 December 2019

In-form Barker bags another brace

In-form Barker bags another brace

AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U16s defeated MYCHETT ATHLETIC KESTRELS 3-2 in Division 2 of the East Berks Youth Alliance to secure their first win of the year.

Both sides cancelled each other out early on with few chances being created for either side.

But Henley’s central midfield pairing of Charlie Wagstaff and Lucas Pestana saw more of the ball as the first half went on and they began to dictate play.

Their two wide men, Archie Barker and Iwan John, were always a threat and started to make the Mychett defence work hard with some dangerous balls into the box.

Felix Grant made the breakthough for the hosts, splitting the Kestrels defence with a one-touch pass through to Barker, who calmly finished across the advancing keeper and into the far corner of the goal.

Sonny Martin then helped make it two, chasing a lost cause on the right-hand-side of the box and squaring the ball for Barker to score his second and his fourth in two games.

In the second half, Henley lost some of their focus and allowed Mychett back into the game, scoring two goals in quick succession.

However, the Hurricanes regained their composure and the tide turned slowly back in their favour. Good teamwork and pressure from Jamie Hudson, John and Felix Grant ultimately forced an error in possession as Mychett tried to play out from the back.

Grant stole possession from the last man and calmly took on the keeper, jinking the ball into the back of the net to secure the three points.

AFC HENLEY U12s travelled to Windsor for a top-of-the-league clash against the WINDSOR YOUTH MERLINS HAWKS, where the visitors had won three of their last five meetings, losing just once.

Both sides started strongly with Henley a little more composed. The back three of Louis Catlin, Mikey Dowling and Dan Flowers were impenetrable and supplied long balls over the Windsor defence to striker Jamie Halliwell but he was thwarted by the opposition goalkeeper.

Jenson Lea was dangerous on the break and linked up well with wingers Leo Schlaefli and George Acock, giving a flood of forward movement on the Windsor goal.

Harry Graham played brilliantly in central midfield, supplying passes to Halliwell and working with Schlaefli to close down the Windsor attacks.

Halliwell’s persistence paid off on 27 minutes when he latched on to a pass by Acock and found the net to take the lead at half time.

After the restart, Windsor began to gain ground from Henley. Their goalkeeper Lillie-Maye Clark was kept busy and pulled off some great saves. Lucas Wilson stepped up to left wing and was busy tracking up and down the pitch.

Henley had more chances but were still struggling to convert in brutal windy conditions.

Windsor took full advantage of this and a high ball blew just past Clark’s fingertips making it 1-1 midway through the half.

Henley had numerous chances in the remainder of the game, with Lea, Graham and Halliwell all going close, but the game ended in a draw, keeping them second in the league.

Catlin, at right back, was Henley’s man-of-the-match , due to his runs back and forward and well-placed passes.

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