Friday, 12 August 2022

England's brace helps set up winner takes all final day showdown clash

HENLEY Ladies 1sts made it three wins on the spin as they triumphed at Witney last Saturday.

In a game of two halves, Henley dominated the first five minutes, pushing forward with every move and creating several opportunities.

A well worked and well drilled short corner routine found the ball in the back of the net, only for the goal to be disallowed after the umpire deemed it illegal. This seemed to put the Henley players into a spin and Witney took advantage, taking control of most of the first half scoring two goals in quick succession.

In the second half Henley’s persistence paid off and a run by Lou England saw her cleverly eliminate the chasing defender before driving into the D and smashing the ball through the keeper’s legs.

A succession of short corners put pressure on the Witney defence and in desperation their defender on the line had to use her feet to keep the ball out. The resulting penalty flick was dispatched with power by Meg Moran.

At 2-2 it looked like Henley would take the upper hand and go on to win the match. But a rush of ill-discipline saw them reduced to nine players and it looked like the game was slipping away from them.

With seven minutes to go and back up to full complement Henley won another short corner. Charlotte Cockerton pounced upon the rebound slotting the ball past the hapless Witney keeper to secure the winning goal for the visitors.

HENLEY Ladies 2nds remain in the hunt for promotion after defeating Milton Keynes 2nds 4-1.

Going into the match promotion rivals Maidenhead had already won their game via a walkover so securing maximum points was crucial.

A strong start by the Henley side was rewarded with an early short corner but the ball was slipped wide of the goal. The early attack set the pace for the rest of the game.

Milton Keynes fought back with a couple of breaks which were easily dealt with by defenders Becky Karver and Karen Walker who saw the ball played out to Sophy Rogers and Sophie Rainbow on the wings to link up with attackers Taminah Brown and Katie Butler. These links of play allowed the quick movement of the ball around the pitch, providing numerous goal scoring opportunities.

Going into the second half goalless, Henley upped the pace and found that Milton Keynes began to tire, allowing the hosts to capitalise on their mistakes.

The opening goal came from a short corner. The ball was slipped to Rachel Herbert who didn’t have a clear shooting opportunity but slipped the ball goalwards where Taminah Brown was able to score.

Henley doubled their lead a few minutes later following the awarding of another short corner. The ball was injected to Rachel Herbert who passed to Emma England to fire home.

Milton Keynes put the pressure back on Henley when a quick counter attack resulted in a goal and kept the scores close. Henley took back control and managed to secure a third goal, a carbon copy of the second, with England netting her second of the game.

Late in the game the ball was carried up the right by Becky Barry, in her first outing in the side. Barry released the ball to Herbert who put the ball on a foot, but instead of blowing for the foul, the umpire played advantage and Herbert was able to fire home.

This weekend Henley Ladies 2nds face Maidenhead 2nds in their final match of the season with the last promotion spot up for grabs in a winner takes all clash.

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