HENLEY 1sts continued their unbeaten run thanks to a last-gasp win away at fellow South League Premier Division 2 rivals
HENLEY 1sts continued their unbeaten run thanks to a last-gasp win away at fellow South League Premier Division 2 rivals Horsham.
Going into the match Henley were lacking firepower with Geoff Joseph, Richard Woolfrey, Mani Kochar, Tom Walter and Jody Measures all missing.
Horsham started more positively with a number of forays into the D but the Henley defence stood strong. The visitors then threatened with a barrage of penalty corners but were also denied by a strong Horsham defence.
The home team took the lead with a quick counterattack and a final shot that was deflected in by a Henley player. Horsham maintained this slender lead until the half-time break, despite the amber and blues creating chances of their own towards the break.
The start of the second half saw Henley on the front foot and pressing more effectively. Quick goals from Luke Gupta and Rhys Joyce - both second phase penalty corners - saw the amber and blues take a lead before a fine counterattack involving David Ralph, Gupta and captain Ed Foster saw Chris Green tap into an open goal to put Henley 3-1 up.
The home team fought back well and built pressure and chances. Roy Cox made a number of good saves but could not stem the tide.
Two goals and a yellow card for Jonny Taylor saw Horsham draw level and create a number of further chances that could have seen them take the lead but Cox continued to get in the way as chances went wide. Joyce also cleared the ball off the line.
In the dying minutes a Henley counterattack, following a strong Robbie Mortimer tackle on the halfway line, saw the visitors awarded a penalty corner with just 45 seconds remaining. Rhys Joyce got the final touch after a shot by Foster, which was enough to seal the three points.
HENLEY 2nds ran out comfortable winners at home to Leighton Buzzard 1sts at Jubilee Park on Saturday. Going into the game the hosts had only lost twice since the start of November whilst the visitors had won just once in the same period.
The home side pressed hard from the first whistle and it wasn’t long before the pressure paid off after a well-won penalty corner was converted with a straight strike by right-back Roberts.
Further good work by Hughes-Burne and Newbold in the front line constantly posed questions of the Leighton Buzzard defence, ably supported by Harmer, Cheesman and Maidlow who made frequent forays into opposition territory and caused continual problems for the overworked defence.
The score was kept in check by the opposition goalkeeper who offered stern resistance. The second goal came after a goalmouth scramble that Maidlow managed to tidy up. Further chances came and went early in the second half without adding to the score while the visitors came close a couple of times themselves with penalty corners that were dealt with by goalkeeper Foggoa and centre-back Clarke.
Beetham, making his debut at right-back, found his feet and range and settled into his role well and the third goal came from Pollard halfway through the half after good work down the flanks, drawing the defence wide to expose the middle of the D. The fourth, Maidlow’s second of the game, capped a rewarding afternoon for the amber and blues.
Henley 2nds, R Foggoa, J Clarke, I Roberts, T Beetham, N Cheesman, D Herbert, T Pollard, G Harmer, C Maidlow, F Newbold, J Hughes-Burne, J Draycott.