Monday, 17 December 2018

Lilywhites crash to first defeat of the year

HENLEY TOWN slipped to their first league defeat in over two months last Saturday when they went down 4-2 at Penn and Tylers Green.

HENLEY TOWN slipped to their first league defeat in over two months last Saturday when they went down 4-2 at Penn and Tylers Green.

The Lilywhites had former Penn and Tylers Green striker Liam Ratcliffe making his debut for the visitors in their first Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 East match since their 3-3 draw away to league leaders Rayners Lane on January 5.

The hosts went close to taking the lead after just two minutes but a speculative shot went wide of the Henley post.

The Lilywhites took the lead after 23 minutes when Edwards beat the offside trap and strode forward unchallenged to calmly slot the ball under the advancing home keeper. Henley’s lead only lasted a minute as the hosts drew level when midfielder Chris Hurst slipped his marker and fired home into the bottom right hand bottom.

Almost straight from the kick-off Henley restored their lead. The Lilywhites played the ball forward to Liam Beasant who found himself out wide near the corner flag. Beasant looked up and found the Penn and Tylers Green keeper some distance from his goal line and fired home from an acute angle.

Penn and Tylers Green started to dominate the match and put pressure on the resilient young Henley defence.

After 38 minutes the hosts equalised for the second time in the match when a neat passing move involving five players ended with Hurst firing home his second of the match from 20-yards out into the bottom right hand corner.

In the second half Penn and Tylers Green had the majority of the play as they took advantage of kicking down the hill and restricting the Lilywhites to occasional counter attacks.

After troubling the Henley goalkeeper and defence with a succession of corners the home side eventually took the lead when a Hurst corner was met by Alex Sethi at the near post who headed home on 75 minutes.

With five minutes left the game was finally put out of Henley’s reach. Following an aimless ball forward out of defence, Jordan Gumbs latched onto it and charged into the Henley Town area before scoring from 12 yards to secure all three points for the hosts.

With second-from-bottom side Thatcham Town Reserves picking up a 4-1 home win against AFC Hinksey, the Lilywhites slipped further adrift at the foot of the table. With just 11 league matches of the season remaining Henley Town now find themselves 14 points adrift of Thatcham.

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