Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Two goals in final minutes sink amber and blues’ opening clash

Two goals in final minutes sink amber and blues’ opening clash

HENLEY 1sts were left pointless from their opening Premier Division 1 clash last Saturday after visitors Oxford University scored the decisive goal in the last minute of the match.

Going into the match with the new skipper sidelined, Sam Heaver took up the captaincy for the amber and blues. Henley started strongly with some neat passing in midfield from Joyce and Walter leading to Harding being one-on-one with the keeper. Harding rounded the keeper but couldn’t squeeze in the narrowly angled shot.

An even game was reflected with the 0-0 score at half-time, Matt Riches making his debut for Henley and providing a solid base at the centre of defence.

Henley continued to create chances with Land and Green going close but it was the other debutant Adam Foulds who opened the scoring. Riches bounded up the pitch and smashed the ball into the D for Foulds to get the faintest of touches past the Oxford keeper.

With two minutes to go Henley looked set to pick up three points but Oxford University pressed high up the pitch and equalised with a strike at the far post. Two minutes later a short corner was awarded to Oxford and they converted the rebound with the last touch of the game.

HENLEY 2nds got their league campaign off to a good start on Saturday with a 4-1 win at newly promoted Maidenhead 2nds.

The visitors started the brighter and threatened the home goal on numerous occasions but were thwarted by some impressive Maidenhead goalkeeping.

Henley were left to rue these missed opportunities when the home side converted a short corner after 15 minutes. The visitors continued to pressure the home goal, but couldn’t find a way past the in-form keeper, despite having five short corners.

In the second half Henley offered more width and patience and turned their dominance into goals as Woolfrey equalised after 40 minutes.

Soon after the visitors took the lead when a short corner was scored on the breakdown by Woolfrey.

Taking the lead only served to whet the away side’s appetite for more goals. Wave after wave of attacks ended with a neat finish from man-of-the-match Ed Hughes-Burne. With 10 minutes to go, the game was effectively killed off as Rechner finished off after some scrappy play in the D.

There was still time in the match for Henley to earn one final chance from the penalty spot, but veteran Herbert saw his attempt saved by the Maidenhead goalkeeper.

Henley 2nds: D Bowyer, Ed Hughes-Burne, R Woolfrey, J Measures, D Herbert, B Smith, J Rechner, J Moore, T Bodeker, A Slay, T Herbert, J Hughes-Burne, B Smith.

HENLEY 3rds suffered a home defeat in their first match of the season against newly-promoted Newbury and Thatcham 3rds.

The game started at a fast pace, with Newbury pressing high up the pitch and putting pressure on the Henley midfield and defence.

Henley benefited from the return of right back Ian Heggie who demonstrated both his defensive capability and his attacking flair.

Henley struggled to demonstrate the fluency of previous seasons, and the hot weather quickly started to sap the energy of both sides, resulting in an increasing amount of space across the pitch.

Newbury took advantage of this, though their forwards were unable to convert a number of penetrating moves, the Henley defence and good goalkeeping by Ed Earl kept the attackers at bay.

With no score at the interval Newbury came out of the blocks quickly in the second half. The visitors converted this pressure into a goal from close range after Earl made two fine saves.

Henley started to exert more authority on the game and some good play between Heggie, Price and Barrass resulted in a series of penalty corners. Heggie was unfortunate not to convert one with a rasping strike while another was cleared off the goal-line.

Five minutes from full time Newbury took advantage of a higher Henley line and attacked on the break. Having been awarded a penalty corner, Newbury managed to convert this with another strike which somehow found the corner of the goal to give the visitors an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Henley 3rds: Ed Earl, Rowan Austin, Liam Peachey, Ian Heggie, Laurence Marshall, Alex Price, Richard Nicholson, John-Joe Cottam, Tim Barrass, Ian Roberts, Julian Herbert.

HENLEY 5ths made it two league wins on the spin as they defeated visitors Marlow 6ths at Jubilee Park.

New recruits Louis Poundall and Fergus Heggie added extra pace to the game helping Henley to push hard up in to Marlow’s half while Tom Grocock made his debut appearance playing in goal for the fifths.

Grocock proved he was more than ready to step up to the challenge when a long Marlow pass made its way in to Henley’s 25 yard area. The Marlow centre-forward launched an accurate strike towards goal but timing his response perfectly, Grocock made a side-step to the right, deflecting the ball wide.

In the closing minutes of the first half Henley again pushed the ball deep up into Marlow’s half where the ball was intercepted by Andy Farrow who beat two players to calmly lift the ball past the advancing keeper to make it 1-0.

In the second half Henley stepped up the pressure and a well earned second goal swiftly ensued. Matt Carter played a long deep ball up the middle to Farrow who sped through the remaining Marlow defence but his shot was saved. Poundall followed up with the rebound but this was blocked on the line by a defender before Fielder pounced on the ball to drive it hard into the goal to make it 2-0.

Henley’s third goal was conjured up by Ian Rechner who ran hard towards the D before unleashing his pass to Farrow who was poised and waiting to hammer the ball into the goal.

With Henley pushing the game high up into Marlow’s half, the visiting side did create a couple of breaks through the Henley midfield. Outpacing the Henley defence, the Marlow centre-half cut across to the top of the D from right of field, and executing a reverse-stick chop, sent the ball flying towards the top right corner of the goal but this was saved by man-of-the-match Grocock.

In the closing minutes of the match, Marlow made another break, this time scoring a goal and taking the final score to 3-1 to Henley.

Henley 5ths: Tom Grocock, Jon Grocock, Nick Shuttleworth, Martyn Watkins, Piers Edgell (Captain), Fergus Heggie, Philip Biggs, Jamie Furness, Max Hems, Ian Rechner, Matthew Carter, Elliot Fielder, Louis Poundall, Andrew Farrow.

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