Narrow defeat to Oxford Hawks for U14 Boys
Fielder and McAllister on target but a wet defeat for Henley
On a wet Sunday afternoon this match managed to entertain the crowd with a hard fought, evenly matched encounter.
Oxford Hawks opened the scoring in the first quarter after a clean break through the Henley defence. Henley had hardly had the chance to wake up. Selvester managed to keep Henley in the game with a series of saves and the interval loomed.
A more sprightly Henley took to the pitch in the second quarter. Alliston and the Cheesman brothers found some form at the back. An equaliser was deserved and came from a move involving Davis, Shaw, McAllister and Fielder whose shot ricocheted off two opposition sticks into the back of the net. But Hawks took the lead again before the end of the quarter. Selvester, magnificent throughout, cleared the ball to the incoming attacker who slammed it into the back of the goal.
A determined Henley changed ends. Dino Cheesman and Hems commanded the centre of defence, both tackling and distributing with more confidence. Enzo Cheesman, at left back, showed improved fitness and combined well with Phillips on the left wing and Shaw in centre midfield. Parsons, superb at right midfield, tirelessly attacked down that right flank, combining well with McAllister. The equaliser came from a sublime 30m reverse stick pass from Shaw through to McAllister, who used pace and skill to get round the goal keeper and finish the job.
Henley were unable to sustain the high level of play, however, and Hawks took the lead once more. The final quarter saw deadlock with neither side able to take their chances. Davis was everywhere in midfield during this last period, showing high levels of fitness and determination. This had been a game of high entertainment for the crowd who endured a wet Sunday lunchtime to support these young development sides.
Goal-keeper Selvester thoroughly earned his man of the match award with saves in every quarter, keeping Henley in the game right until the end.