Phillips Scores Winner as Henley Edge Past Sonning
Seven Goal Thriller Entertains Crowd
Henley began this match confidently. Bryant, at right defence was able to push high up the pitch to support the attack. Bonser, inspired in a central defensive role alongside Rankin, controlled the defence and Cheesman showed his usual composure on the left. Johnson (Will) and Shaw worked well in the centre midfield and Johnson (Jamie) and Fundell offered opportunities up front. Williams and Phillips added width and Henley were 2-0 up by the end of the first period, with goals from Fundell and Phillips, deserved recognition of Henley's dominance.
All change at the break. Alliston and Judge came into defensive positions and Wood into the midfield. But it was Sonning who put the pressure on in the second period, using midfield strength and solid passing skills to pressurise the Henley defence. Selvester was agile and in the first five minutes made one spectacular save with his stick diving to his right to keep the opposition at bay. Judge and Rankin were solid at tackling the opposition but the Sonning attack were relentless and got a goal back before the end of the period. 2-1.
In the third and final period Henley were determined to make their possession count. In the centre of the pitch, Cheesman found Wood on the left who played a perfectly timed pass back to Cheesman just outside the D. He then passed to Shaw who roofed the shot into the top of the net. 3-1 up and Henley were cruising to victory. But tired legs saw passes go awry and Sonning fought back, making this match incredibly entertaining for both sets of spectators. A second goal for Sonning and then an equaliser. 3-3.
With only minutes remaining Henley composed themselves. Williams sped down the right wing, put an accurate ball across the D and Phillips scored a dramatic second goal over the top of the prone 'keeper to seal a late 4-3 victory for the home team.
The man of the match was shared by goal keeper Selvester, who kept Henley in the game with a series of super saves and was not afraid to run out and challenge the opposition, and Cheesman who played with composure in a range of defence, midfield and attacking positions during the match.