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Tuesday, 18 December 2018
HENLEY crashed to a heavy 6-2 defeat at home to London Edwardians in their Premier Division 1 clash at Jubilee Park last Saturday.
Following a goalless first half the hosts raced into a 2-0 lead with strikes from Chris Green and Ed Foster early in the second half.
Fielding a depleted squad, with six regular members away or injured, the home side tired as Edwardians scored six goals in the space of 20 second-half minutes to secure the points.
Stand-in goal keeper Rob Green saved a penalty flick with the score at 2-0 to Henley, but there was little he could do to stop the away side’s all-out-attack tactics.
A FINE performance by Nico Cheesman inspired Henley 3rds to victory at Jubilee Park against West Hampstead 4ths in a game featuring seven goals.
Looking to respond to the heavy defeat of the previous week at the hands of Oxford 4ths, with key players returning Henley reverted to the tried and tested 3-4-3 formation, and quickly found their groove.
Jack Draycott and Alex Price dominated the central midfield with John-Joe Cottam driving forward on the right. The backs switched the ball quickly across the field, enabling the midfield to create dangerous attacking opportunities through the pace, skill and power of the forward line of Tim Barrass, Julian Herbert and Ian Heggie.
It was Cheesman who stood out at left half, combining strength, composure and sublime skill to good effect, with West Hampstead struggling to contain him throughout the match.
The visitors picked up the pace and quality of their own hockey. Pouncing on any loose play and fighting hard for possession, they took the lead when an innocuous penalty corner strike found the backboard of the Henley goal.
Undaunted by this, Henley continued to press forward. A fine move down the right through Woolfrey, Heggie and Cottam ended with Woolfrey delivering a cross of pin-point accuracy to the stick of Barrass who had evaded his marker. Barrass slammed the ball home with a formidable strike.
The pace of the game continued unabated, with Woolfrey taking Henley into the lead from a penalty corner, following a well-worked move with Heggie.
Leading 2-1 at half-time, Henley knew that West Hampstead would come hunting hard after the interval. Pushing hard and taking advantage of a shaky five minutes from the home side, the visitors equalised.
Henley dug deep to add another of their own. The forward line worked hard to retain possession and force defensive errors, and a West Hampstead defender delivered a scything tackle to concede a penalty corner. Woolfrey stepped up and took Henley to a 3-2 lead with a fine strike.
West Hampstead responded quickly to equalise at 3-3 with another penalty corner strike.
As aging legs started to slow, Henley faced an onslaught as the more youthful West Hampstead accelerated and sought to steal the game. Midfield enforcer Draycott exhorted his team-mates to greater effort, and with just 10 minutes remaining Price won another penalty corner. The first strike was parried by the goalkeeper, but Herbert made no mistake in finishing to take Henley into the lead.
Tiring fast, Henley reverted to a more defensive formation to close out the remaining minutes of a thrilling game, to secure a hard-fought victory.
Henley 3rds: M Cordrey, R Austin, J Clarke, M Woolfrey, N Cheesman, A Price, J Draycott, J-J Cottam, T Barrass, J Herbert, I Heggie, N Emmett.
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