Thursday, 18 October 2018

Gupta's last-gasp strike spares league leader's blushes

LEAGUE leaders Henley 1sts, off the back of eight straight victories, were held to a 3-3 draw away to bottom-of-the table Tunbridge Wells on Saturday

LEAGUE leaders Henley 1sts, off the back of eight straight victories, were held to a 3-3 draw away to bottom-of-the table Tunbridge Wells on Saturday.

Henley got off to a sluggish start and barely touched the ball in the opening 10 minutes.

Tunbridge were having all the possession and broke the deadlock after eight minutes. Good work by the Tunbridge midfield found one of their forwards in the D and he duly dispatched his reverse stick shot past the diving Cox.

Soon afterwards only a good toe-tip save by Cox prevented the hosts from doubling their lead. Henley mounted an attack and good work by the visiting midfield resulted in their first short corner of the game. However, Henley were denied by a fine save by the Tunbridge keeper to prevent Gaze.

With 15 minutes gone Henley made some substitutions as they pressed higher and higher up the pitch and the Tunbridge defence was starting to make mistakes.

Good work by Hibberd, Joseph and Joyce on the right flank enabled Tailor to find some space on the top of the D. His first time shot hit a Wells foot and the subsequent short corner was eventually finished off by Joyce at the second time of asking. With the scores level, Henley were beginning to control the game. A mis-trap by the home defence allowed Joseph through on goal where he found Gupta in the D but his first time shot was saved well by the Tunbridge keeper.

With five minutes of the half remaining Henley took the lead for the first time. Good work by Foster, Mortimer and Green on the left flank eventually found Gupta unmarked at the back post who converted into an empty net. The second half started at a furious pace with Henley continuing to press Tunbridgeâ??s defence. Some good tackling by Joyce, Foster and Ralph enabled Henley to turn over the ball on multiple occasions deep into Tunbridge territory.

However, a combination of final passes going astray, poor finishing and good goalkeeping kept Henley at bay.

With 20 minutes remaining Woolfrey was bundled over by a Tunbridge Wells defender after looking certain to score. Henley were given a penalty flick and the hosts were down to 10 men. However, the hostsâ?? man-of-the-match goalkeeper guessed the right way and saved the Henley penalty flick. The hosts responded immediately and after Henley went down to 10 men equalised with a good finish at the near post.

With the scores at 2-2 and Henley looking for a winner, holes were beginning to appear at the back. A quick break by Tunbridge Wells resulted in a forward being found at the back post and his first time shot was dispatched past Cox to put the hosts ahead

With a minute to go and Henley looking like they were to lose their unbeaten recorded, a well worked move found top scorer Gupta who finished well from a tight angle to level the scores with the last play of the match.

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