Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Green's late strike ensures points in gallant fight back

Green's late strike ensures points in gallant fight back

A LATE Chris Green goal ensured Henley all three league points from their first home match of the season against Horsham last Saturday.

Henley started the match strongly, playing some flowing and high-intensity hockey. After some good midfield link-up play by Gupta and Land, forwards Green and Joseph were able to create numerous first half chances, ultimately leading to a series of short corners. Despite the number of corners, Henley were unable to open their account, with Hetherington and Foster denied by some good goalkeeping.

Moments later, against the run of play, the away side took the lead and bundled the ball home from close range, following a misplaced pass in the Henley defence.

Horsham’s lead was short lived as a flowing three-man move involving Foster, Alex Land and Geoff Joseph resulted in Joseph netting from close range after Land’s pinpoint cross.

Once again the home side were undone on the break as Horsham took the lead 10 minutes into the second half. Moments later, they added a third, as a powerful reverse stick shot nestled into the top corner of the Henley goal despite keeper Roy Cox getting a slight touch on the shot.

This two-goal deficit spurred Henley on and intense pressure from the home side resulted in two quick goals. The first came from man-of-the-match Land and the second was by Joseph, who once again displayed a good striker’s instinct to turn the ball home from close range for his second of the day.

At 3-3, the away side were tiring and Henley were dominating proceedings. With six minutes left on the clock Henley struck the winning blow, as a swift counter-attack saw Land and Green two-on-one with the final Horsham defender. With the defender duly beaten Land dummied a pass to Green, fooling the Horsham goalkeeper, who left the goal completely unguarded for the simplest of finishes for Green, after Land laid the ball off to striker.

HENLEY 3rds registered another comprehensive victory to beat Banbury 3rds 5-0 with Tim Barrass capping a fine individual performance with two goals.

The skill, pace and power of the forward line of Barrass, Leo Packham, Timothy Herbert and Sam Brown proved impossible for the Banbury defence to handle.

The midfield of Jack Draycott, Alex Price, Ian Roberts and John-Joe Cottam worked tirelessly to starve Banbury of possession, linking quickly with the forwards to create goalscoring opportunities.

The opening goal came from Brown, who finished confidently following skilful work wide on the left through Herbert and Price.

Leading 1-0 at half-time and enjoying the majority of possession, Henley patiently built their attacking platform after the interval.

Barrass accounted for the second goal, slapping the ball home after Cottam delivered a pass of pinpoint accuracy having robbed a Banbury defender of the ball.

The third came following Packham’s powerful drive down the right. Packham found Barrass with a strong cross, who finished sharply.

Draycott took the score to 4-0 following a neat penalty corner finish, with Roberts adding the fifth with an instinctive strike from another penalty corner rebound. Banbury struggled in response to the Henley onslaught. The strong defence of Bodeker, Clarke and Austin did not concede a penalty corner and rarely looked troubled, with goalkeeper Ryan Foggoa comfortably snuffing out any Banbury attack.

Henley 3rds: R Foggoa, J Clarke, R Austin, T Bodeker, J-J Cottam, J Draycott, A Price, I Roberts, L Packham, S Brown, T Herbert, T Barrass.

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