Thursday, 13 December 2018
TIM Barrass delivered his second successive man-of-the-match performance of the weekend on Sunday as Henley pulled off a stunning second half comeback to defeat Letchworth in the HA Masters Trophy knockout tournament.
Having been awarded a bye in the first round, Henley started with little organisation and looked rusty early on.
Letchworth looked much better drilled and aimed to hit Henley hard on the break, taking advantage of some disorganised Henley defending to score a simple opener as an unmarked attacker slotted the ball home at the far post.
Henley responded to this with good play from Chris Green while Dan Herbert found Rhys Joyce who equalised with a neat finish.
However, Henley struggled to maintain any fluency and Letchworth quickly scored another on the break, and then took the score to 3-1 as their right winger evaded three tackles to create another simple finish.
At half time, captain Jody Measures reverted to a formation of four in defence, which gave the home side more stability, organisation and a better attacking platform, and introduced substitute Barrass as an attacking playmaker.
Barrass rewarded his captain’s faith with a good performance, his skill, energy and creativity complementing the midfield workhorses of Joyce, Green, Measures and Robbie Mortimer.
As a result, Henley’s superior quality quickly began to tell as the passing improved, ball pace increased and the opposition began to tire.
Running rampant, Barrass charged down an opposition defender to steal possession, threading a slick pass to Green who tapped in a simple finish to take the score to 3-2.
Letchworth had no answer for Henley’s possession and skill and another good move between Barrass and Herbert enabled Nico Jean-Jean to score the equaliser.
Pressing high up the pitch, Henley camped out in the Letchworth area, patiently working the ball around, confident that the winning goal would come.
The fired up Barrass then intercepted a loose ball from the Letchworth defence, delivering a pinpoint diagonal pass to Green, who quickly hammered the ball towards Paul Chedzey, whose deflection left the goalkeeper with no chance, to put the hosts 4-3 up. Henley closed out the final minutes with relative ease to secure their place in the next round of the competition.
03 December 2018
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