Saturday, 15 December 2018

Halloran goal ensures side make championship cup progress

HENLEY Ladies 1sts secured local derby bragging rights as they ran out 2-1 winners at Jubilee Park during last Saturday’s league encounter.

Henley started the game well, having a firm hold of the possession and playing with a high intensity from the off. Despite being camped in the Sonning half for most of the first period, Henley struggled to get a clear sight of goal and the game fizzled out towards half-time following a head injury to one of the opposition.

In the second half Sonning started to get more of a grip on the game and had chances of their own, but halfway through the half Georgie Metcalfe found Sophie Hoskins in the middle of the D, whose touch allowed her to slot the ball into the bottom corner for her first goal of the season.

Sonning hit back immediately, going straight down the other end and winning a short corner. From this, a shot from the top of the D proved too powerful for the Henley defence to stop and Sonning were back in the game.

The match may well have completely swung in Sonning’s favour had it not been for some outstanding saves from the Henley goalkeeper Hannah Lavis. The hosts cranked up the pressure and a goalmouth scramble which saw the ball roll across the Sonning goal line left Henley contemplating whether it would be their day.

With 10 minutes to go the Henley pressure finally paid off. A short corner was controlled at the top of the D by Hoskins and Rachel Herbert hit a shot that deflected up in the air, only for the Sonning goalkeeper to tip up and over her defenders on the line.

The last moments of the game were played mostly in Henley’s 23, but the strong defence held off one last wave of attack to cling on for victory.

IT was same again the following day as Henley defeated Sonning on Sunday 2-1 in the England Championship cup first round at Jubilee Park on Sunday.

Sonning were quick off the mark winning a short corner five minutes into the game and coming out on top with a goal. Henley fought back with strong attacking play and some good link-up passes and stick skills from Jem Barham and Ellie Roseff in the centre of the pitch.

In the second half Henley came back strongly, pushing for several attacking short corners. Rachel Herbert stepped up to convert one of these short corners to a goal with a powerful strike leaving Sonning’s goalkeeper no chance of getting to the ball.

Henley’s defence were stretched when Sonning made quick turnovers and attacked on the break. Kath Draycott and Kat Green were not phased and made some vital defensive clearings before Sonning were given the opportunity to have another shot at goal.

Chloe Nelson made some promising runs and linking up with Georgie Metcalfe in attack giving Metcalfe the chance to use her speed and skill to draw in and eliminate Sonning’s defence. She then slipped the ball to Kiera Halloran in front of goal who planted the ball solidly to give Henley a late 2-1 lead.

Mel Joyce made some impressive interceptions in the midfield to prevent another Sonning attack ensuring the game was won and securing Henley a place in the next round next month.

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