Monday, 14 October 2019

Flower and Clark on target as Hurricanes breeze to victory

Flower and Clark on target as Hurricanes breeze to victory

AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U16s ran out 2-0 winners in their home East Berks Alliance League Division 3 clash with DARBY GREEN AND POTLEY DYNAMOS U16s at Harpsden last Saturday.

One minute into the match saw Henley’s Tristian Flower drill a freekick low into the Darby Green goal to give the hosts the lead.

Henley continued to play some good attacking football with Joel Trinder, Olly Deacon and George Weller linking up impressively.

Henley were testing Darby Green down both wings and on 20 minutes the home side built up a move down the right before slipping Casper Clark into the box where he finished into the corner of the net to make it 2-0. Weller went close twice more as Henley were running the game.

For the final 10 minutes of the half the focus of the match switched to Henley’s defence as Darby Green finished the half strongly, putting the Henley defence under severe pressure and winning a succession of corners and free-kicks. Henley defended well with centre backs Cameron Smith and Dan Kernick highly effective in protecting the home goal.

The second half started as the first finished with Darby Green attacking, although the visitors failed to create clear cut chances and Freddie Mendelssohn in the Henley goal dealt comfortably with any long range shots.

After Darby Green’s initial pressure, Henley’s midfield of Sami Morgan, Flower, Clark and Weller took control and Henley’s fullbacks Conrad Gurney and Alfie Wylie started to drive forward. Darby Green were pushed back into their own half and Henley created further chances.

Deacon, Trinder and Clark all went close to extending Henley’s lead and in the final quarter the match became a midfield stalemate as Henley secured all three points to remain unbeaten.

AFC HENLEY HURRICANES U18s continued their unbeaten start to their East Berks Alliance Division 2 campaign, overcoming FINCHAMPSTEAD COLTS U18s 8-3 away from home.

Henley found a big wide pitch with a good surface on arrival that suited their playing style and it didn’t take long for them to take advantage. Winning the ball back immediately from the Finchampstead kick off Sam Clark swiftly split the Colts’ defence with an inch-perfect pass to the returning Archie Barker who slotted home.

The visitors continued to take the game to Finchampstead with Barker, Jake Jones and Ben Hudson regularly testing the home defensive line. However, it was Finchampstead who netted next, the Colts strikers combining well after and finishing past stand-in keeper Ethan Pearce.

Henley continued to press forward with Ben Hudson going close from range, Alec Strickland nearly rewarded with a strong header from a Henley corner and Christian Oswald sliding the ball inches wide.

This profligacy in front of goal was punished as the Colts used the wind to their advantage when a free kick from the halfway line was lofted high into the Hurricanes’ 18 yard box unchallenged allowing a neat finish from a Colts forward. Stung into action Henley surged back, man-of-the-match Barker again causing all sorts of problems for the Colts defence, intelligently playing the ball back to Jones who crossed for Oswald to score with a diving header and then powering down the right wing to provide an inch perfect cross for Clark to burst onto scoring with a clinical one touch finish.

The wind continued to cause problems for the Hurricanes defence and the Colts were back on terms on the half hour mark when another lofted free kick from the right caught the wind and curled beyond Pearce’s reach into the top left hand corner.

In the second half the Hurricanes looked more assured with a back line of Felix Butterworth, Strickland, Sonny Martin and Pearce in front of second half keeper Jem McAllister. Henley continued to attack with increasing fluidity and were rewarded on 54 minutes. McAllister picking out Barker who twisted and turned before pulling the ball back to Jones who finished calmly.

From this point the Hurricanes rarely looked like losing and were provided clear light of day after Hudson started a move on the half way line to combine with Jones, Barker and Oswald before scoring with a low finish across the keeper from 15 yards.

The quartet continued to work well in tandem with Jones hitting the bar with a well struck free kick and Oswald bagging two further goals to chalk up his hat-trick.

Jones wrapped up the points scoring his second with his own lofted free kick into the wind which evaded everyone and found its way into the Finchampstead net to finish off an entertaining game.

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