Monday, 25 March 2019

Newbold’s double helps hosts maintain late promotion push

Newbold’s double helps hosts maintain late promotion push

HENLEY 1sts went down to a narrow 3-2 defeat away at second placed Spencer last Saturday.

The Wandsworth based side started strongly and went 2-0 up after 10 minutes with some good finishing.

The visitors then started to control the game and a spell of transferring around the backline high up the pitch was followed by creative work from Harding, Green and Foster in the front line. Taylor ran through to the D and got the ball to Heaver on the post who lifted over the keeper and the ball fell inches wide.

In the second half a counter attack involving Foster and Harding found Green on the far post to tap in Henley’s first goal in six competitive matches.

The game was of high quality and of a physical nature. The defence, being organised by Riches, were keeping Spencer’s chances to a minimum and keeper Rob Green was only asked to make a handful of good stops.

With 10 minutes remaining Henley won another short corner which was accurately despatched by Ed Foster.

At 2-2 Henley looked like they would secure the draw but Spencer picked up the ball on counter attack in the last few minutes and a pass from their forward gave a tap in for his team mate. The result saw Spencer move to the top of the table.

HENLEY 2nds maintained their promotion push as they fought back from 3-1 down to claim a draw at home to Eastcote and extend their unbeaten run to six matches.

The game started well for the hosts with high pressure and a couple of half chances created. The good start was countered with a fast breakaway and Eastcote striking first with a powerful low reverse shot.

Henley continued to play well but struggled to pin Eastcote in and allowed runners to cause them problems defensively.

Ironically Henley struck back during one of their poorer sections of the game. A ball played long into the stick of Nico Jean-Jean left him one-on-one with the last defender and he strolled past him and hit a powerful shot low towards the corner, a bounce off the post and keeper left the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-1. Henley quickly conceded a soft penalty corner. Eastcote punished them with a rebound goal after an initial fine save from goalkeeper Dave Bowyer to put the visitors 2-1 up.

In the second half Henley conceded within the first couple of minutes to trail 3-1. This was the point of the match where the home side stepped up as their hockey improved. The work rate improved and this brought about three quick fire goals. A neat deflection from Jeremy Hughes-Burne, followed by a penalty corner goal from Kevin Jones and finally a powerful strike from the top of the D from captain Richard Woolfrey to put the hosts 4-3 up with 15 minutes to play remaining.

Throughout this period Henley were fighting against adversity as they spent the last 20 minutes of the game with one or two players short following a flurry of green and yellow cards. Eastcote also felt the wrath of the umpires cards but to a lesser extent.

This effected the momentum and flow of Henley’s powerful second half performance and Eastcote started to sneak back into the game. With 10 minutes remaining Eastcote equalised with a smart close range deflection from a powerful injection into the D.

Henley 2nds: D Bowyer, R Woolfrey, J Baker, J Measures, D Herbert,, K Jones, M Herbert, B Smith, T Bodeker, J Moore, N Jean-Jean, J Hughes-Burne, E Hughes-Burne.

HENLEY 4ths ran out comfortable winners against local rivals Sonning 5ths to cement their place in the top half of the table and give themselves the opportunity to push for promotion.

The first half was a scrappy affair as both sides struggled to impose themselves, having both not played for two weeks due to weather postponed matches.

Gradually both sides began to up their game and after 20 minutes Henley were awarded a short corner which came from a sustained run of attacking play, led by the ever present Phil Biggs. Following a well-worked short corner routine, Ed Newbold scored.

Henley then conceded two quick breakaway goals, meaning that Sonning went into the second half 2-1 up.

Henley regrouped at half time and in comparison to the first half had the look of a team with more composure and time on the ball. Tim Cima came close to scoring following sustained pressure. With Henley’s defence working well, the hosts continued to push forward and move the ball around with ease, culminating in two quick goals by Ian Rechner on 40 and 45 minutes.

By this stage of the match Henley were controlling the majority of possession and on 55 minutes man-of-the-match Phil Biggs scored, with a firm low hit from the edge of the D.

Henley continued to attack with Newbold scoring his second goal of the match on the 60 minute mark following another well-worked short corner routine.

Henley 4ths: David Rechner, Jonathan Williams, Simon Ward, Adam Warner, Ian Rechner, Ed Newbold, Simon Taylor, Neill Emmett, Philip Biggs, Jon-Jo Cottam, Tim Cima, Josh Batty.

HENLEY 5ths’ colt player Toby Phillips put in a man-of-the-match performance to help his side run out 5-0 winners at Bicester 4ths.

Intent on maintaining a stronger midfield for this match, Henley adopted a 3-2-3-2 formation, differing from their usual 3-4-3 formation. This immediately provided colts Danny McAllister and Phillips with opportunity to advance the ball down the right-hand side of the pitch, dribble and pass around the defence before pulling the ball back to Mike McAllister who struck the ball high into the Bicester goal.

Henley’s maintained pressure in midfield resulted in another break, the ball being played to Mike McAllister, who at the top of the D, wrong footed the Bicester defence and the resultant foul led to a penalty stroke. Jon Grocock coolly dispatched the ball to the keeper’s right side to put Henley 2-0 up.

One minute into the second half Henley scored their third goal of the match. Defender Fergus Heggie worked with David Corke in midfield and Toby Phillips on the forward line, with some expert dribbling and well-placed passes up the right wing and to Jamie Furness in the D. Unable to get a clear shot on goal, Furness pulled the ball back to the top of the D where Ben Williams swept it inside the left corner of the Bicester goal post.

Henley’s fourth goal was scored by midfielder Ben Williams, who received a square ball just outside the D and advancing in to the D, made an accurate shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.

With 10 minutes remaining Henley maintained the pressure on Bicester and the fifth goal came from an accurate pass from Jez Clarke in midfield, travelling through to Danny McAllister, who with the deftest of touches pinged the ball on to Mike McAllister who finished by cracking the ball hard into the Bicester goal.

Henley won a game where colts Phillips, McAllister, Fergus Heggie and David Clarke came to the fore, combining on the field to produce some flowing, mature and effective hockey. The solid defensive performances from Piers Edgell, Nick Shuttleworth and Fergus Heggie, and another mature goalkeeping performance by colt Tom Grocock helped the visitors keep their second clean sheet of the season.

Henley 5ths: Tom Grocock, Jon Grocock, Nick Shuttleworth, Fergus Heggie, Jeremy Clarke, David Clarke, Ben Williams, Mike McAllister, Piers Edgell, Jamie Furness, Toby Phillips, David Corke, Danny McAllister.

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