U14 Boys Start Season with a Win
2 goals from Fundell seals victory for boys
Henley Boys began this match in determined fashion with wingers Williams (Eddie) and Phillips using their pace and Wood (Benny) and Shaw controlling the midfield. The defensive quartet were rarely troubled in the first quarter, Rankin and Judge patrolling the central defence with authority and Heggie and Cheesman managing the flanks. Attacking opportunities were aplenty. Shaw managed to hit the post twice in the first period, and Harding also had chances in front of goal, but Henley were unable to break the deadlock.
All change for the second quarter as Henley benefited from a deep squad of 18 players. McAllister's impact was immediate on the right flank and he was the creator of Henley's best chances of the period. Johnson (Jamie), new to hockey and Henley Hockey Club, sent the best opportunity slightly wide of the post but demonstrated the potential this squad has. Newbury then stepped up a gear, testing the Henley defence and forcing goalie Selvester into action. The best opportunity came from the Newbury right flank and Selvester, keen to keep a clean sheet, dived to his right, making the save with his stick in a display of superb athleticism.
The third quarter saw Henley finally and deservedly break the deadlock with two close range goals from Fundell, ably supported by Williams (Eddie), Phillips, Wood (Benny) and McAllister.
The visitors responded strongly at the start of the final quarter and began to put some pressure on the Henley defence. They were soon rewarded, closing the gap to a single goal. Cheesman, consistently reliable in defence throughout the match, marshalled fellow defenders Williams (Huw), Alliston and Bryant, and combined well with the midfield. Johnson (Will) settled into a midfield role alongside Shaw. Wingers Wood (Archie) and Phillips kept the pace of the game high and Henley fought back to challenge the Newbury goalie. A short corner saw Shaw strike the roof of the net (disallowed) but the pressure was telling and Wood scored the decisive goal to take Henley to a 3-1 victory.
This was an impressive display from a side where some were playing their first ever full pitch match and others, new to hockey in the last 12 months, learned quickly alongside some of Henley's more experienced players. Henley has room to improve from here but what an excellent start!