Thursday, 21 March 2019

Jones and Forrester goals help keep promotion push on track

Jones and Forrester goals help keep promotion push on track

HENLEY’S South Premier Division 1 survival hopes hang in the balance after the basement side crashed to a 6-1 defeat at Indian Gymkhana last Saturday.

The amber and blues started on the back foot with Gymkhana showing creative attacking threat early on. Some quick stick skills from the Gymkhana forward won a short corner that was rifled into the corner to beat goalkeeper Green in the Henley goal.

Two more goals followed suit for Gymkhana with some tidy finishing. Late in the first half Foster put through newly adapted forward Sam Heaver for a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Heaver calmly took the ball to the left before turning strong and flicking the ball into the goal past the recovering defenders.

The second half was much better from Henley but an enormous aerial ball from the Gymkhana captain put their forward in for a fourth goal. The game started to get stretched and the tackles were flying in hard with Henley’s Mortimer eventually being issued with a green card. Henley created plenty more chances but couldn’t convert them while Gymkhana scored two more penalty corners.

With Henley’s relegation rivals Milton Keynes picking up three points the next few games are critical for Henley’s survival chances.

HENLEY 2nds kept themselves in the hunt for promotion thanks to a 2-0 home win against OMT. With the sun up high and a considerable lack of rain during the week, the Henley pitch was dry and sticky and did not make for a flowing game of hockey as both sides struggled to link any kind of play together.

Henley took the lead when the ball broke down the right and found Kevin Jones in the D to slot home.

A second closely followed for Henley from a short corner. Joel Forrester dragged the flick into the net just before half-time.

During the second half neither side could find the back of the net as Henley secured the points to keep them top of the Division 1 MBBO table.

Henley 2nds: J Measures, R Woolfrey, B Smith, M Herbert, J Forrester, T Herbert, D Herbert, J Moore, A Slay, K Jones, E Hughes-Burne, O Wiseman.

HENLEY 4ths entertained MBBO Division 8 West table-topping Wallingford at Jubilee Park, knowing a win would propel them into the promotion fight whilst any other result would most likely signal the end of their challenge.

The game started with both teams playing a cagey game of cat and mouse with neither wanting to slip up and concede the initiative.

Henley went close to an opening goal following a move down the right by Dino Cheesman who squared for Phil Biggs whose shot was saved by the Wallingford keeper. Soon after Ian Rechner was foiled by a good diving save by the visiting keeper.

It looked like Henley would pay for these missed chances when Wallingford forced a short corner from which the ball was lifted over the prone Henley keeper to open the scoring. Henley responded well and following another good break down the right by Cheesman the ball fell to Andy Farrow with his back to goal and he unorthodoxly managed to shoot through his legs into the goal to the bewilderment of the Wallingford defence.

Henley, back in the game needed to consolidate and hold the fast attacking Wallingford front line but found this task to be beyond them as a break down the home left saw the ball pinged into the D and an unmarked visiting forward simply slotted the ball home to make it 2-1 to the visitors.

With minutes remaining in the half, solid play by Josh Batty saw him release the ball to an unmarked Jon Growcock who passed to Farrow who netted his second of the game. Henley almost snatched a lead with a strike from Neil Emmett driving in from the 25 yard line, going just wide as the teams went in level at 2-2 at half-time.

In the second half the first 15 minutes were played in the Wallingford half, with multiple attempts on goal from Henley being saved time and again by the Wallingford keeper who was having a good game. Wallingford were now living on the break and made a couple of opportunities but these were snuffed out by Adam Warner, Matt Slater and Cheesman in defence.

With 10 minutes to go, Wallingford again had a break away and this time Henley were caught napping, quick work by the Walingford attack moved the ball around and their centre forward was presented with an easy goal to take the lead.

Again Henley came back and right to the end were pushing for the equaliser but could not find the clinical finish that they needed.

Henley 4ths: T Growcock, A Warner, D Cheesman, M Carter, J Williams, J Batty, J Growcock, P Biggs, S Ward, I Rechner, A Farrow, N Emmett, D Corke.

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