6-1 Defeat for Henley U14 Boys to South Berkshire
Henley take early lead but lose out to stronger, more physical side
Henley were the better team for the first third of this match, controlling the midfield, defending confidently and creating scoring opportunities. It was a slightly nervous start for Judge, in central defence but he soon settled and worked well with Rankin to frustrate the South Berks attackers, both players making some excellent tackles and confidently distributed balls to the wider defenders. Allison was solid at right back and was able to work with McAllister to push forward down the right flank. Cheesman was under pressure almost constantly as the South Berks team used the strong right hand side for their attack, but he was equal to the pressure and was key in breaking up the onslaught. Shaw and Wood controlled the centre midfield and their movement created space and opportunity. Williams, at left midfield, made excellent use of the jab tackle and helped Cheesman in thwarting the South Berks right sided attacks. Fundell and Harding worked hard to find space for the through balls from the midfield. And it was Henley who dominated with an early chance which Fundell couldn't turn round the post. Shortly afterwards Shaw put the home team ahead with a superb piece of individual skill to round two defenders before placing it past the diving goal keeper. Henley maintained this momentum for a few more minutes but were unable to sustain the high energy and concentration and South Berks saw the opportunity. Two quick goals followed, in the last minutes before the interval, and South Berks changed ends in the lead.
Goalkeeper Selvester was busy in the second half. An injury to Shaw forced a change of personnel and Cheesman stepped into midfield, with Heggie ably completing the defensive unit and Phillips supporting in midfield and down the left wing. Henley found it more difficult as tiredness crept in. South Berks, a stronger and more physical side, pushed on and the Henley team began to feel the pressure. Heggie and McAllister continued to create opportunities down the right wing, getting a shot on the keeper who saved well, and Phillips, Fundell and Harding received long balls through from Cheesman and McAllister but were unable to beat the South Berks goal keeper. During the second half South Berks netted a further 4 goals leaving Henley on the end of a 6-1 defeat but having ultimately lost to fitter and more physical team who they had managed to be better than for the early part of the game. Encouraging indeed.