Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Paice and Judge stand out in strongest display of season

IAN RECHNER scored the only goal of the game as Henley 4ths consolidated their position in the top three of MBBO Open Division 7 before the coronavirus lockdown paused the season.

Having romped to a 9-0 win the previous week, the Amber and Blues began the game in good heart.

However, much as they worked hard, their clinical edge appeared to have deserted them and their play was far too narrow and imprecise.

For their part, the experienced Leighton Buzzard side were robust in defence, anticipating Henley passes and snuffing out attacks when the Henley players tried to run through the middle of the pitch.

Despite attempts to change their style of play, Henley went to the break at 0-0 and, much as Leighton Buzzard had shown little in attack, the fourths were relieved to be level given how poorly they had played.

Following an honest and direct team talk at half-time, Henley began after the restart playing much better, putting the visitors under consistent pressure and forcing a string of short corners.

For much of the half, the visiting defence held out, in part due to their keeper pulling off several fine saves.

Henley’s final passes continued to fail to create clear goal scoring opportunities but, with 15 minutes to go, Ian Rechner received a return pass in the D following another short corner and calmly slotted home to seal the win.

OLI PAICE helped set up two goals as Henley Boys U16s put in their strongest performance of the season away at Marlow.

Henley put out a strong line-up, with several players having already played senior level hockey this season and Henley quickly took control through a midfield of Toby Phillips, Danny McAllister, Louis Poundall, Fergus Heggie and James Edgell.

But Henley went a goal down against the run of play when Marlow broke forward and scored following a scramble in the visiting defence.

But Henley’s players didn’t let their heads drop and an equaliser soon came when Paice got the ball on the right-hand side of the D and crossed for Sam Phillips to score from close range.

Henley then took the lead just before half time when Edgell scored following a flowing move involving Paice and Joe Selvester.

The second half initially flowed back and forth and Henley came under a period of concerted pressure.

However, Oliver Judge, who was later named man-of-the-match, managed the Henley defence well, snuffing out several threatening attacks. Then, when the home side did threaten the Henley goal, keeper Tom Grocock, pulled off several good saves.

As the half moved on, Henley took control again and Heggie completed the scoring for Henley to record a well-deserved win.

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