Wood's Late Equaliser Saves Henley
Boys Secure 4-4 Draw With Phoenix & Ranelagh
These U14 Boys matches are not for the faint-hearted. Wood (Benny) scored the late equaliser with 1 minute left on the clock, earning a well-deserved 4-4 draw with local rivals, Phoenix & Ranelagh. The spectators were thoroughly entertained on a crisp, sunny Sunday afternoon.
Fundell opened the scoring for Henley as Cheesman, taking a free hit quickly from the back found Shaw in midfield whose throughball to Fundell was perfectly weighted. The Phoenix 'keeper saved the first shot but Fundell was quick to follow up netting from close range. The quarter ended with Henley 1-0 up.
Henley's lead didn't last long and Phoenix equalised early in the second period was over, their tactic of leaving a high forward working well, breaching the Henley defence not for the first time during the game. Selvester, in goal, used aggressive defensive tactics, frequently leaving his line to threaten the attackers, and thwarted the Phoenix attack on several occasions, keeping Henley in the game. He was ably supported by his defensive unit of Judge, Rankin, Heggie, Bryant and Bonser who all saw plenty of the ball in this end-to-end match. Sadly, a short corner, on the whistle at the end of the period, gave Phoenix the lead. 2-1 to the visitors.
Quick to respond, Henley got a goal back early in the third period. McAllister's reverse stick cross found Shaw whose strike levelled the match at 2-2. It was Henley who then took the lead. Harding, unlucky not to score earlier in the period, got on the end of a through ball from Shaw, finding the goal from the narrowest angle. But the lead was not to last as Phoenix breached the Henley defence once more. 3-3 at the end of the third period.
The action continued in the fourth and final period. Man of the match, Selvester, marshalled his defence and made a string of fabulous saves but he could not keep out Phoenix's 4th goal. The opposition had the lead with 5 minutes remaining so Henley pushed forward. The midfield of Williams, Johnson (Will) and Wood (Archie) worked hard to retain possession whilst Johnson (Jamie) and Fundell made leading runs to offer the outlet. From the right, Cheesman crossed and found Wood (Benny) who beat one defender and then finished with a reverse stick shot to level the score. With only a minute remaining there was no time for either team to add the winner and the 4-4 draw as a fair result from an enjoyable match.