Thursday, 18 October 2018

Hosts have no answer as Ashford end unbeaten run

HENLEY suffered their first league defeat of the season at home to Ashford on Saturday.

HENLEY suffered their first league defeat of the season at home to Ashford on Saturday.

The amber and blues’ performance on the day belied their position at the top of the table going into the game as much it did Ashford’s mid-table position.

The game took a while to ignite with both sides rarely able to create anything meaningful in dangerous areas.

Ashford shaded the opening exchanges after positive midfield play exposed some disconnects between the Henley midfield and defence. The hosts did manage to fashion some incisive moves between Taylor and Joseph on the left and Hibberd and Measures on the right flank.

Maidlow, Woolfrey and recent addition Hetherington hustled up front but largely had to try and stitch together the patches of effective play that Henley served up.

The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes from what seemed to be a stock move at a penalty corner by Ashford’s top scorer firing a low flick through the on-rushing defensive line and past the unsighted goalkeeper Cox.

In the second half the central Henley midfield pairing of Mortimer and Foster provided some glimmers of hope by moving the attacking platform further into opposition territory, with some determined but ultimately fruitless assaults on the Ashford D.

A number of well-won penalty corners came close to opening the account for the home side, but the moves failed to properly test the Ashford keeper.

After right-back Herbert was judged to have fouled and with the Henley defence in disarray, the quickly taken Ashford free-hit found a lone forward who finished with a lunge at the far post.

With the defensive line of Herbert, Joyce and Hughes-Burne stretched by Henley chasing the game and with luck not on their side, a deflected cross caught a Henley player on the foot in the D and Ashford capitalised from the resultant corner with their routine move.

Henley 1sts: R Cox, D Herbert, R Joyce, E Hughes-Burne, E Foster, R Mortimer, J Taylor, R Hibberd, J Measures, B Hetherington, R Woolfrey, G Joseph, C Maidlow.

A LATE goal saw Henley denied all three points at Abingdon. Henley, having not conceded a goal so far this season, maintained the majority of possession in the first half, with fluent passing in the midfield between a solid Wood and captain Price.

Abingdon had a dangerous attack, their centre-half feeding aerial balls into the Henley D but the amber and blues defence was solid, with Wiseman making aerial clearances on the right and Herbert’s strong tackles in his debut league match for the side.

Henley were awarded several short corners but the Abingdon defence saved shots by Wiseman and flicker Roberts.

Shortly before half-time, Hughes-Burne scored from a narrow angle from open play to put Henley into the lead.

In the second half Henley were again awarded a short corner in their favour and this time Wiseman pushed the ball between the keeper’s legs to put the visitors 2-0 up.

Abingdon were awarded a short corner mid-way through the second half and from the subsequent routine, the hosts pushed the ball past centre-back Roberts, and keeper Bowyer to reduce the deficit.

Henley continued their dominance in midfield with strong left-wing attacks from Cheesman and Pollard.

Just before full time Abingdon were awarded another short corner after a cynical Henley tackle just outside the D which the hosts scored to equalise.

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: Tributes paid after rugby player's death

POLL: Have your say