Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Visitors denied by late Milton Keynes goal

THE penultimate game before the Christmas break saw Henley 1sts crash to a 6-3 defeat away to Southern Premier Division 1 newcomers Winchester last Saturday.

The visitors got off to a bright start with good attacking hockey played with numerous opportunities created, but that vital finishing touch eluded the amber and blues.

Some lackadaisical marking by Henley was exploited by a few clinical passing moves from the home side, who converted almost all their chances to see the visitors 3-0 down at half-time in a half that saw Alex Land pick up a yellow card.

In the second half another string of missed opportunities and team defensive errors by visitors saw a re-run of the first half’s scoreline with the hosts netting another three goals while Hetherington picked up a yellow card for Henley.

With 15 minutes remaining Henley’s Rhys Joyce converted to reinstall some confidence. Another goal from Jonny Taylor made the score 6-2.

The visitors’ dominant flurry at the end of the match continued with Joyce claiming his brace from the penalty spot, after a foul on Land by the Winchester last man, was rewarded by the umpire.

HENLEY 2nds suffered another home defeat, this time at the hands of in-form Sonning 2nds.

The game started well for both sides and promised to be a decent match-up despite some ascendancy by Henley, the visitors soon took charge and converted from a penalty corner.

With their tails up Sonning piled on the pressure and doubled their lead, making Henley pay for mistakes in the circle.

Henley worked hard to get back into the game with some resolute defending and no lack of endeavour though the constant surrendering of possession cheaply stifled any continuity. Glimmers of hope returned when Toby Pratt stepped up to convert two penalty corners towards the end of the half.

In the second half Sonning pounced on another Henley error to score their third. The hosts tried to get back into the game but good goalkeeping and the lack of poise in front of goal proved their undoing.

With Henley chasing the game, Sonning were able to exploit gaps and space at the back, with the final sucker punch coming seconds before the end of the game to make it 5-2.

A LATE goal by host side Milton Keynes 6ths denied visitors Henley 5ths all three points.

Henley took an early lead in the first half with a fast offensive against Milton Keynes and a goal scored by Andy Farrow on 10 minutes.

Despite many offensive runs at the Milton Keynes goal, Henley’s attempts at scoring were thwarted by the home defence and goalkeeper.

Shortly afterwards Milton Keynes then managed to make a break from a 16 yard hit and equalise, closely followed by a second goal to take the lead.

In the closing minutes of the first half, a Henley ball fed up through to the midfield by Duncan Gray, Ian Rechner, Max Hems and Henry Davis was worked in to the Milton Keynes D where Jon Grocock levelled the scores.

During the second half, Henley managed to score a further two goals from Andy Farrow and from Ian Rechner, one set up by defender and man-of-the-match Nick Shuttleworth.

Henley’s defence comprising of Enzo Cheesman, Jon Edgell and Ed Hems saw off numerous Milton Keynes attempts on the Henley goal. In the final 10 minutes and with a score 4-3 to Henley, a clinically precise reverse stick hit from a Milton Keynes player taken almost from the goalline gave the hosts their fourth goal to equalise.

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