Henley Athletic FC

Henley Athletic FC

An excellent all-round team performance saw Henley secure a 0-2 away victory at a much improved Leiston St Margarets, two early goals making for a pretty comfortable game for the visitors. Thirty Ultras made what’s now our longest league trip of the season to support the lads. Late summer breaks, multiple weddings and golf weekends saw regulars Cowan, Caraccio, Shore and Jackson missing, however keeper Jones was able to be on the bench on his return post-surgery, alongside George, and new signing Ryan Davison made his starting debut on his return from holiday.
Early Henley pressure was very quickly rewarded when after 7 minutes Storey’s pass found Bull, he brilliantly turned his marker and sent a low driven cross across goal, met at the back post and hammered home by White for 0-1. After 13 minutes it was 0-2, Francis and debutant Davison combined, feeding Bruce on the edge of the area, his shot was too hot for the home keeper to handle and Golding was on the spot to finish the rebound from close range.
5 minutes later Henley came close again, a move straight from the training ground, saw White slam a low corner from Bruce off the underside of the bar and back to safety. On 35 minutes came Leiston’s best chance of the game, a misplaced pass putting the ball at the dangerous Harper’s feet, in front of an open goal, however his scuffed effort grazed the outside of the post and ran to safety, keeper Burton was also called upon to block at his post shortly after. A deliberate handball denied a through ball to Bruce, and Golding was crudely brought down as the half drew to a close, both resulting in yellows for the home side.
Leiston played a bigger part in the 2nd half, but it was still Henley that had the better chances. The move of the game coming 15 minutes in, a 40-yard cross-field ball from Bull, found Golding out wide right, he held it up and perfectly played in the onrushing Smythe, his fierce shot pushed round the post at full stretch. The subsequent corner saw White rifle a shot narrowly over. Another corner saw the ball crash back off the Leiston bar following a goalmouth scramble, before only a brave block deflected a goal bound shot from Bruce.
A miscommunication at the back saw the ball roll towards the Henley goal but Storey was on hand to comfortably clear off his line. Jones replaced Burton between the sticks for the final 20 minutes as he continues on his path towards full recovery.
Henley MOTM went to Tejano, who had an imperious game in midfield, White ran him close, taking his goal well and being involved with everything positive, summer signing Bull is settling in brilliantly, he went on a run past 4 opposition players late in the game which drew loud applause from the assembled Ultras, who’ve already decided that they all “love a bit of Bully”. Our other new signing Davison made an impressive debut, involved in creating our 2nd goal and looking exciting every time he gets the ball. To be fair though, the whole squad contributed superbly, everyone playing their part in a challenging game against a good side.
Plenty of credit to Leiston St Margarets too, almost unrecognisable in comparison to when we played them in the final game of last season. They’ve massively improved and play some good football, the experienced, and always dangerous Harper a constant threat up front, in addition to some impressive youngsters on show too.
The ressies had a surprisingly lacklustre final pre-season game, not really showing up in a 6-1 loss at Sporting 87, Manager Forbes will be looking for a return to their earlier form when the season starts next week.
The Vets kicked off their season on Sunday with a 2-1 league win over Bury Town Reserves, with the score-line not depicting a clear reflection of the game. It clearly showed that this was our first game in 5 months, with holidays getting in the way of any training or friendlies, which was evident with a lot of endeavour but lacking in quality in the final third. Having said that we were the better team throughout and were thankful to Studd in between the sticks who produced two fine saves to keep the scores at 0-0 until we finally broke the deadlock in the last 15 minutes. A Ford close range header making sure of Elliott’s wicked corner that may have been already going in. Ford added a second a few minutes later after fine work down the right from Terry Mallick. Bury scored a consolation goal in injury time to make the result look closer than it should have been.
Not a bad start to the campaign all things considered, with fine performances from Studd in goal, Clements at the back, Elliott in midfield and a promising debut from Lander up top.
Next week the 1st team welcome newly promoted Bildeston Rangers FC to the Community Centre K.O 2.30, the ressies begin their campaign with a trip to Leiston St Margarets FC also a 2.30 K.O. The Vets travel to the highly rated Woodbridge Town FC for a league cup game K.O 2.00, Our Ladies also visit Woodbridge Town FC, also a 2.00 K.O.
The Hat

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Posted: Monday, September 2 2019 by Tony Stone

The views expressed in club/league notes are not necessarily those of Archant Suffolk

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