Saturday, 15 December 2018

Five-star visitors put dent in Henley’s promotion hopes

PROMOTION chasing Henley 4ths’ good run of results came to an end as they went down 5-3

PROMOTION chasing Henley 4ths’ good run of results came to an end as they went down 5-3 at home to Newbury and Thatcham 5ths.

The opening exchanges were tight with both teams’ attacks asking questions of the opposing defences.

As the game settled into a pattern it was Henley who managed to strike first, a marauding run down the left wing by Harry Wray drew the strong Newbury centre backs out of position and a drive across goal was met by a diving Rupert Wiseman who swept the ball into the Newbury goal.

Minutes later Wray again caused problems for the Newbury defence and again found Wiseman on the far post to tap home.

Newbury countered with a series of attacks down the Henley left and after a scramble outside the D the ball found the Newbury centre forward who deftly beat David Rechner in the Henley goal.

Newbury were now camped in the Henley half and were awarded a series of short corners from which they equalised.

Needing to show strength from the off Henley started the second half on the front foot but it was Newbury who took the lead with a breakaway goal. Following another short corner Newbury increased their lead to 4-2. With 10 minutes remaining Henley made a foray into the Newbury half and following a quickly taken free hit the ball fell to Tim Cima who scored to make it 4-3.

Any hopes of a comeback were quickly extinguished with another short corner goal from Newbury to complete the score line.

HENLEY 3rds lost out away to Bicester 2nds last Saturday.

Right from the off the Henley forwards, supplied by the experience in midfield, made some good advances but to no avail. Bicester got their first goal of the match with their first attack as the pace of their counterattack caught out the Henley defence.

Early in the second half Henley got a goal back as John-Jo Cottam finished off a fine move to put them back on level terms.

Soon after the home side thought they had regained their lead as a bouncing ball bemused rookie goalkeeper Ed Newbold but it was deemed that no Bicester player got the finishing touch.

However, the hosts restored the lead when a close range finish punished the Henley side. The visitors dominated the final 10 minutes but were unable to find a way through the Bicester defence.

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