Fundell brace secures win for Henley U 14 boys
Henley beat Newbury & Thatcham 4-2 in entertaining match
Within one minute of the push back Henley had the lead in this close encounter. Shaw won possession in the midfield and linked with Phillips on the left wing, who was able to spot Cheesman pushing up from left defence. His ball found Shaw again who set up Fundell for his first goal of the game, a brilliant touch eluding the diving goal keeper. Textbook hockey.
Henley's second goal followed not long after, and came from a short corner which Newbury & Thatcham could not clear out of the D. Philips, whose pace on the left flank troubled the opposition defence, was on hand for a clinical finish from the left side. However, despite the best efforts from Henley defenders Rankin, Judge, Alliston and Cheesman, the opposition didn't take long to close the gap back to one goal via a strong breakaway move through the middle of the pitch. 2-1 to Henley.
The second period saw Shaw and Fundell combine again with Fundell, already in the D, making the most of the opportunity, sliding the ball confidently past the opposition goalkeeper. Fundell's positional play was excellent throughout and his man of the match award well deserved. Again, though, Newbury & Thatcham came back to close the gap back to a single goal as Henley defence struggled to clear the ball out of the D.
The final period saw the Henley defence work on passing the ball round the back, switching the play. Cheesman and Rankin were consistently strong in defence and were ably supported throughout, with both players able to start and support attacking moves through the midfield. Bonser proved a natural in both central and wide defensive positions. Judge adapted well to different positions and maintained his strong tackling skills throughout. Bryant and Williams (Huw) ably supported the more experienced defenders.
In the midfield, both Johnson (Will) and Wood (Archie) adapted to right midfield positions, improving their versatility. Wood (Benny) combined very well with Shaw in the centre midfield and was able to unleash his powerful strike on a couple of occasions, challenging the Newbury & Thatcham defence.
Both teams fielded stand-in goal keepers for this fixture and the standard was incredibly high from both Heggie, in goal for Henley, and the opposition. During the final period, Henley forwards Johnson (Jamie), Harding, Williams and Fundell constantly pressurised the Newbury & Thatcham 'keeper who made several diving saves to keep his team in the game. With 5 minutes remaining Shaw put away Henley's 4th goal, with a short corner strike, to give the visitors a clear win.