Friday, 24 May 2019

Top scorer leaves it late to wrap up Hurrianes win

Top scorer leaves it late to wrap up Hurrianes win

AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U18s ended their season on a high note with a come back 4-3 win against BRACKNELL UNITED U18s in the East Berks League last Saturday.

On a blustery day and a sloping pitch, the Hurricanes found themselves a goal down after 12 minutes but pulled themselves level when Jake Jones crossed for James Goulden to bury the ball past the keeper.

But with five minutes of the half remaining, the Hurricanes gave themselves a mountain to climb, conceding two goals in quick succession and it could have been worse but for a busting run from Harry Green to prevent a counter-attack having run the length of the field from a Henley corner.

However, the away team knew they would be playing downhill in the second half, and went out with renewed intent and purpose.

After a succession of corners, delivered by Jones and Joe Neighbour, the Hurricanes made the pressure tell when Max Gosby thumped one home for his first goal of the season on his return to the team.

Jones made it a hat-trick of assists from crosses when Emil Rayfield converted to make him the top scoring midfielder of the season.

The back four of Ed Lawrence, Alec Strickson, Jack Lambourne and Neighbour, were rarely troubled in the second half but needed to stay alert and clear danger when required, with Sam required to make one key save tipping a close-range header over.

Ethan Pearce was re-introduced with 25 minutes to go to link up down the left flank and it was one-way traffic for the remainder of the game. The Hurricanes had a number of chances, with Harry Roe, Goulden and Jones all going close, particularly when the latter came in from the left side and shot just wide of the far post and also his header from a Neighbour cross that looked to be in but the keeper got down well.

Just when it looked like the game would be heading for a draw despite all the pressure from the away team, Jones beat the fullback and came inside, not making any mistake this time around with the finish to the far corner leaving the keeper well beaten, to take all three points and the season’s top goal scorer award to boot.

Man-of-the-match for Henley was Gabriel Langford who has played well for the second half of the campaign in midfield, showcasing his dribbling, keeping of possession and incisive passing which were all on display in the game.

AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U9s suffered penalty shoot out heartache as they lost out in the East Berks League Cup final against ELDON CELTIC U9s at Ascot United on Saturday.

The match finished all square at 3-3 after normal time with Celtic taking the honours 3-1 on penalty kicks.

The first quarter started fast with play end to end. Corben Galloway linked well with Freddy Estornel for a push through on goal but was denied by the Celtic defence.

Eldon Celtic created several chances but they were well saved by Henley keeper George Beesley.

However, the Greens managed to break through the Hurricanes defence and score twice in quick succession.

At the start of the second quarter Eldon Celtic once again showed a display of strength and speed to increase their lead to 3-0.

Eldon continued their onslaught and pushed keeper Beesley to make further good saves.

Soon after Galloway made a run through midfield and unleashed a powerful shot on target which was tipped round the post by the Celtic goalkeeper for a corner. Theo Decardi-Nelson took the corner and lifted the ball into the box to find the feet of Charlie Cooper who chipped the ball home to reduce the arrears to 3-1.

Early in the third quarter Decardi-Nelson tested the Celtic keeper with a long range shot.

With positive play from the Hurricanes it seemed only a matter of time before a further breakthrough was made and this came by Estornel supplied by Lorenzo Nicoletti-Dowd, who dribbled from midfield and delivered through to Decardi-Nelson who sidestepped the keeper before firing home to make it 3-2.

Invigorated by their comeback, the Hurricanes began to play some good football, passing well and retaining control in the final quarter of the match.

The Hurricanes kept pressing and were awarded a penalty for a foul in the area. Archie Butlin stepped up and scored to level the tie.

Despite several more opportunities created and further shots on goal the final whislte was blown as the match went to a penalty shoot out.

Eldon Celtic opted to take the first shot, which was saved by Beesley before Henley’s first kick was also saved.

Beesley got his hands to the second penalty, but the ball bounced awkwardly over the line to give Eldon Celtic the lead before Cooper levelled for Henley.

Eldon netted their next kick whilst Henley’s was saved to leave Celtic 2-1 up.

Eldon Celtic’s next spot kick bounded off the post whilst Henley’s next kick went narrowly wide.

Beesley got the ball for the final Eldon penalty but the power of the shot saw it go over the line to win the cup for Celtic.

Despite the defeat Henley have had a good season as they have been undefeated through 24 games, scoring 116 goals in the process.

AFC Henley Hurricanes U9s: Rupert Arsyad, George Beesley, Harry Biggs, Archie Butlin, Charlie Cooper, Theo Decardi-Nelson, Freddy Estornel, Corben Galloway, Charlie Myers, Lorenzo Nicoletti-Dowd, Isaac Walmsley.

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