Henley U14 Boys get the better of Reading
By Caz Shaw
McAllister scores 4 in 12 goal thriller
The local crowd was well entertained by this end-to-end goal extravaganza. McAllister, thwarted at least 3 times early on by the Reading goal-keeper and a resilient Reading defence, finally found a way through to give Henley the lead. But it was short-lived as a sprightly Reading used the right flank to great effect, passing inside for their striker to equalise.
Henley recovered quickly and McAllister, Phillips, Shaw, Cheesman and Poundall all had goal scoring chances but were unable to make their pressure count. Reading defence was solid, protecting their goal-keeper who made some astonishingly agile saves. Poundall, on the right wing, was ably supported by right back Williams, and using Shaw and Johnson in centre midfield, they created lots of attacking opportunities.
Bryant and Cheesman combined well on the left, making it difficult for the speedy Reading wingers to break through. Rankin and Bonser were solid in central defence and had plenty to do in this end to end encounter. The midfield encounters were dominated by Shaw and Johnson, who were able to push the Henley team forward as the interval approached. Phillips and McAllister, both playing high up the pitch for Henley, continued to apply pressure and McAllister's hat-trick was scored before the half time whistle.
Henley dominated the early part of the second half as a tired Reading struggled with the pace of the match, and the early resilience of the Reading defence was tested and defeated four times. Man of the match, McAllister picked up his fourth goal, Phillips positioned himself perfectly for two close range goals and Shaw's straight strike from the top of the D gave Henley a clear margin. But Reading weren't out of it and they used their pace to break quickly, catching Henley defence napping, and net their second goal.
In the second half, Henley's defenders, having worked hard in pre-match training, rewarded the coaches with a text-book pass round the back as Williams, on the left, fed Bonser in the middle of the pitch. His ball ball to Rankin was spot-on and set up the wide ball to right back, Heggie, whose perfect weighted pass found Poundall on the right wing. Two more goals followed from Henley. A clean slap from Phillips gave him a well deserved hat-trick and a reverse stick strike from Shaw earned himself a second. But it was Reading with the final word. A super cross from the left into the D found a free attacker in front of Selvester, Henley's goal keeper, and the ball was whipped in to give Reading a well-worked consolation goal with seconds to spare.