HENLEY 4ths went into this game against top-of-the-table Sonning 6ths knowing that promotion whilst still possible relied on winning this and their final game next week, and second placed Wallingford failing to win their final two matches.
Henley, playing with their usual team of five U14s, had the better of the first 20 minutes but Sonning forced a sequence of short corners that the home defence successfully repelled.
The Henley midfield of youth Nico Cheesman and experience James Lane began to take control of the game and following a recycle of the ball around the back line found a gap down the left hand side.
Good link-up play from James Rechner and Andy Green saw the ball reach Cheesman in the D, his first time shot was goal bound but struck a defender on the foot inches from the goal line. The umpire had no hesitation in awarding Henley their first penalty of the season which Ian Rechner slotted home. With minutes remaining in the first half, Henley’s overconfidence resulted in the ball being given away inside their own 25, a couple of missed tackles from the hosts and a powerful shot beat keeper Bobby Boydell to bring the scores level.
In the second half the game began to open up but Henley showed calmness under pressure and through playing to their strengths slowly retook control.