Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Late pressure not enough as visitors hold on to secure win

Late pressure not enough as visitors hold on to secure win

HENLEY 1sts came into their match at home to London Edwardians at Jubilee Park last Saturday without a win in their opening two games, and in need of some points to kick start the season.

The home side got off to a positive start, taking the lead early on as Chris Green smashed the ball into the top corner having been one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Henley found themselves pegged back after a swift counter saw London Edwardians equalise shortly after the opener. As half-time approached, Henley saw their sustained possession rewarded, with Green on hand once more to tap in at the back post.

A strong showing in the second half was required in order to hang on to the lead but three goals from the visitors put them 4-2 up with 20 minutes remaining.

Substitute Benji Hetherington sprinted from the halfway line and slid the ball under the keeper with his first touch since coming on to the pitch to make it 4-3.

A barrage of Henley pressure, and a number of short corners turned out to not be enough for the home side to snatch an equaliser as the visitors held on to secure all three points.

HENLEY 3rds salvaged a late draw against Oxford Hawks 5th in MBBO Division 3.

The hosts, in their 3-4-3 formation, looked comfortable in the early exchanges. A new back three of Austin, Marshall and Herbert transferred the ball around with ease, looking for gaps to play into midfield. Marshall filled in well at right back while Herbert also played well at left back.

The opening 15 minutes were fairly even although the energy of a younger Oxford Hawks side was making it difficult for Henley to keep any meaningful possession in the opposition half. Five minutes before half-time, Henley lost possession and were hit by a Hawks counterattack.

The counter-attack momentarily broke down and Henley attempted to clear their lines but only managed to push the ball to a Hawks player at the top left of the D who undercut it into the roof of the net, giving Earl no chance in the Henley goal.

Early in the second half the Hawks scored a second goal after a Henley 16-yard hit got turned over.

At 2-0 down, Henley gradually started to get back into the game. Hawks continued to press but Cottam and Harmer began to find space and use their pace on the flanks. Foster-Yeow got more touches and started to click with his fellow forwards Farrow and Shaw.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes Henley won a short corner. Dracott pushed out, Austin stopped the ball dead and Foster-Yeow flicked low and hard to the goalkeeper’s left to make it 2-1.

As time wore on, the game was becoming increasingly open and frantic, which was taking its toll as both Marshall and Herbert had to withdraw due to injury.

With five minutes remaining Henley played the ball up the right flank before finding Cottam at the top of the D. Barrass had taken up his customary inside left position and as Cottam played the ball to the left, Barras swept it first time into the far left-hand corner of the goal.

HENLEY 4ths moved up to third in the league after beating hosts Oxford Hawks 7ths.

The visitors looked shaky early on and Oxford were able to capitalise after some good passing play. Once Henley started to settle into the game, the amber and blues were able to dictate play, leading to a sustained period of attacking pressure. Good skill down the right-hand side from Phil Biggs resulted in a flurry of short corners, but Henley still were unable to find their goal, with Ed Newbold coming close on two separate occasions.

Henley’s attacking pressure was finally rewarded 20 minutes into the game. Some good recovery play from Marcus Nicholson in the centre of midfield set Ewan Watkins away who, when faced with the onrushing goalkeeper, found the bottom corner from the top of the D.

An injury to Simon Ward meant that Martyn Watkins, who had only travelled as a coach, had to come on. This turned out to be an inspired substitution as he deflected a flying shot off the line, keeping the score at 1-1. After another period of attacking play the visitors managed to find their second goal. Quick thinking from Enzo Cheesman resulted in a tap-in for Ewan Watkins to grab his second of the game and put Henley firmly in the ascendancy.

By this stage the tired legs of the Oxford side started to show and Henley were able to demonstrate their attacking flair. Tim Cima netted a goal with a reverse finish from the top of the D to wrap up the scoring.

HENLEY 5ths ran out 4-2 home winners in their fourth league match of the season against Abingdon 3rds.

The hosts pushed into Abingdon’s half with colts Toby Phillips and Danny McAllister and Elliot Fielder injecting pace into Henley’s game.

The opening Henley goal came as Elliot Fielder passed the ball in the D to Mike McAllister who lifted it past the keeper and in to the back of the net.

Some solid midfield play from Henry Davis saw Henley again advance into the Abingdon D and a well-timed drive across the goal found the stick of Mike McAllister who deftly launched the ball in to score Henley’s second goal.

A third goal came in the second half when Danny McAllister made a break in to the D, beating a defender and going around the goalkeeper to neatly score.

Abingdon found their composure in the second half and came back to launch a number of offensives against Henley. Despite best efforts, Abingdon were able to sneak two goals past the Henley defence and the hosts had many very near misses on Abingdon’s goal when on the offensive.

Abingdon continued to step up the pressure on the home team in the closing quarter of the match, with an advance up the right wing. Stepping out towards the Abingdon winger, Grocock blocked a shot.

The final goal came when Henley’s Matt Carter pushed a penalty corner out to Liam Peachey who fed the ball back towards the Abingdon goal. Anticipating this to be the main strike on goal, the Abingdon keeper went down too early and Carter was able to neatly tuck it past him.

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