Tuesday, 19 March 2019
HENLEY Ladies 1sts secured all three South Clubs Division 3A points thanks to a goal two minutes from time at Buckingham last Saturday.
The amber and blues had travelled to Stowe School with reduced numbers and were depleted further when Kat Green limped off the pitch injured just a few minutes into the game.
Undeterred, Henley’s versatility and fitness shone through as players played out of position and stepped up the pace against young opposition.
The flow of the game was in Henley’s favour throughout the first half with Lettie Cary, Kiera Halloran, Charlotte Cockerton and Lara Wilkinson making good leads up front to collect the ball to attack.
However, despite numerous entries into the D and countless short corners, Henley were unable to get on the score sheet.
Five minutes from half-time a rare Buckingham counterattack resulted in the home side’s only short corner of the match. Goalkeeper Hannah Lavis saved the first shot but a rebound fell to a Buckingham player who took the opportunity to slot the ball home.
Henley regrouped at half-time and, recognising they were playing well and were still the stronger team, kept patient and composed. They were rewarded 10 minutes later after the ball was worked up the pitch from the backline to find Georgie Metcalfe in the D whose shot found the back of the net.
Rachel Herbert, Chloe Nelson, Ellie Roseff and guest defenders Wilkinson and Emma Walker continued to hold a solid backline. Jem Mackie and Lou Lynch formed a good partnership in the centre of the pitch, driving the ball forward and winning yet more short corners. Buckingham defended each one well and their keeper had a fine game as the Henley side seemed unable to take the lead.
Henley continued to batter the Buckingham defence and their determination eventually paid off on the 68th minute when a goal-mouth scramble was ended when Lynch forced the ball over the line to secure all three points.
BUOYED by their recent wins, Henley Ladies 2nds were keen to keep the momentum in their home match with Marlow 3rds, but half term meant availability was significantly affected. Henley lacked cohesion and experience which was evident in the scrappy first 20 minutes and with limited attacking play the hosts were forced to absorb much pressure in defence.
Karen Walker put in some good timely tackles while Nicky Hardy was kept alert in goal to make several vital saves. Player-of-the-match Anna Wray stuck to her experienced opposing player and frequently came away with the ball to distribute it effectively to Henley's awaiting midfield.
The pressure of a succession of Marlow short corners took their toll and with a visiting player left with too much space at the top of the D she was able to slip it to her teammate who took the ball around Henley's keeper to score. Undeterred Pippi Heath and Beccy Barry fought tirelessly in midfield to break down the opposition and towards the end of the first half Henley had started to link play and seize momentum. Winning several short corners finally resulted in Taminah Brown finding the back of Marlow’s goal to draw level. Without any substitutes Henley knew they would have to dig deep throughout the second half to remain in the game and this they did. Both teams had chances to score with many scraps in front of goal.
Henley finished the game with some good driving runs down the right but were unable to capitalise in front of goal as the match ended all square.
28 October 2018
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