Tuesday, 19 March 2019

McAllister levels to earn point in eight-goal thriller

McAllister levels to earn point in eight-goal thriller

HENLEY 1sts went down to a 3-0 defeat against mid-table Spencer 1sts at Jubilee Park last Saturday.

The first half was even with few clear cut chances. Henley were having the majority of early possession but struggling to break down the resolute Spencer defence.

Against the run of the play Spencer scored the opening goal 15 minutes before half-time when a long back stick pass found a visiting forward open at the back post to tap in.

Only good defence by both sides, particularly Breamie in goal and Walter at the heart of defence, kept the half-time scoreline at 1-0.

Henley came out in the second half with a lot more intensity pressing Spencer higher up the pitch but this was to the amber and blues’ detriment as they were hit on the break for Spencer to make it 2-0.

This spurred Henley on who created wave after wave of attack. Good work from Gupta and Joyce found Joseph at the top of the D where he beat the defender and was then taken out about to take a shot on goal. The penalty flick to Henley saw Joyce’s flick saved by the keeper.

Henley continued to push to get back in the game and only some good saves from the Spencer keeper kept the scoreline at 2-0. Foster was denied at the back post and then after good work from Gupta before Joseph was denied from a rebound at the front post.

With Henley trying to get a foothold back in the game, Spencer were able to hit Henley on the break to make it 3-0.

HENLEY 4ths went down to a 3-2 defeat away at local rivals Sonning 6ths.

After player shortages higher up the club Henley had to play with a depleted team but got off to a strong start with a succession of quick attacks, resulting in an early short corner which Elliot Fielder expertly turned in at the back post after a clever pass from Phil Biggs.

Up until half-time the away side continued to pile on the pressure but the Sonning defence remained strong and some fine saves from the goalkeeper denied the yellows an extension of their lead. Before half-time Henley were made to rue these misses as a goal on the break sent the game into half-time at 1-1.

The trend of the first half continued into the second 35 minutes as Henley held the majority of the possession and the lion’s share of the chances, but couldn’t make them count, and once again Sonning punished them, scoring two goals against the run of play.

Henley didn’t let their heads drop and continued to search for the elusive second goal. Eventually the goal did come, with Max Hems finishing off after a goalmouth scramble, but it was too little too late as Henley fell to their third defeat of the season.

Henley 4ths: David Rechner, Jon Williams, Adam Warner, Simon Ward, Matt Carter, Simon Taylor, Neil Emmett, Jules Herbert, Phil Biggs, Enzo Cheesman, Elliot Fielder, Ewan Watkins, Max Hems.

MIKE McAllister netted a hat-trick as Henley 5ths fought back from two goals down to claim a draw against Bicester Development at Jubilee Park.

Opting for the pushback, Henley got off to a reasonable start gaining possession of the ball as the visitors pushed high up the field from the outset.

Henley’s keeper Tom Grocock was called into action early on, pulling off three good saves, the most spectacular of which was a flicked shot on goal which he reached high up to his right to palm away for a long corner.

Making full use of their substitutes the visitors’ advances into the Henley 25-yard area were relentless as Bicester scored their first goal of the match. This was followed shortly thereafter by a second, putting the home team on to the back foot. Fortunes changed for Henley halfway through the first half when Mike McAllister scored their first goal of the match. McAllister, making an individual run and dribble into the D, finished with a precision ball sent into the goal through the keeper’s legs.

Henley’s second came as midfielder David Corke made a drive into the D from across the pitch. Drawing the goalkeeper, Corke made an unselfish pass to Jamie Furness who tapped the ball past the Bicester goalkeeper.

The visitors stepped up the pressure in the second half, scoring an early third goal. Despite some good play and solid defending, Henley conceded a short corner which gave the visitors their fourth goal of the match to make it 4-2.

Into the final quarter and Henley’s resilience began to show against a tiring visiting team. Grocock again kept the opposition at bay, showing calmness and maturity beyond his years to intercept two crosses and kick the ball to the safety of the sidelines. Bicester again pushed high up into Henley’s 25 yard area and a long pass from a 16-yard hit was intercepted by defender Piers Edgell, who took the ball around to the right wing, made a clean pass from the 25-yard line straight into Bicester’s D catching both sides unprepared. Unmarked in the D, it was McAllister who was able to position his stick on the end of the pass and make a perfect one-touch finish, reigniting Henley’s hopes.

In the final 15 minutes Henley managed to score a fourth goal, with a fine ball collection and distribution from Nick Shuttleworth. Receiving the ball in the D, Jamie Furness had an attempt at goal which was picked up by David Corke, who slipped the ball across to McAllister to tap home.

In the closing minutes of the game and with the score at 4-4, Henley won a short corner but this was successfully defended.

Henley 5ths: Tom Grocock, Jon Grocock, Nick Shuttleworth, Will Bonser, Piers Edgell, Toby Phillips, David Corke, Henry Davis, Ben Williams, Mike McAllister, Jamie Furness, Eddie Williams, Alan Mortimer.

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