Henley 2s vs Harrow 1s
By Dan Herbert
League opener ultimately ends in defeat
Henley 2s started the 2017-18 season with a trip to Harrow who have made steady progress through the divisions as they seek to re-establish themselves after dropping through the leagues a number of years ago. This was not a classic encounter as any means but nonetheless important for establishing a foothold in the league campaign, and Henley were true to their usual early season form by playing well enough but failing to capitalise on chances.
The opening skirmishes seemed to belong to Harrow as they showed their intent by attacking fast and direct, however the visitors eventually found their feet and started to impose their own character, creating a few clever chances but ultimately not troubling the keeper. The deadlock was finally broken when new club arrival John Doyle surged down the right, crossed and found Jeremy Hughes-Burne at the far post to open the scoring. That good work was undone a few minutes later when a misjudged pass was intercepted in midfield, allowing the Harrow centerforward to drive into the Henley 'D' and slot the ball past Bowyer in goal.
The consensus in the Henley huddle at half-time was that an increase in intensity and execution would see them through this one with a win. The team responded positively, and dominated large parts of the second period, although as the game moved towards a likely draw the umpires took a dim view of some of the tackles, culminating in skipper Herbert spending 2 minutes on the side line and a short corner being given against his team. The home team worked a good routine and found their second. Henley had chances at the other end to draw level again, notably from Doyle whose reverse strike was well saved by the Harrow keeper.
So, much to work on but also no cause for concern at this stage. This week Henley welcome Eastcote to Jubilee Park.
Team: D Bowyer, I Roberts, J Clarke, D Herbert, M Herbert, J Baker, J Measure, R Woolfrey, J Doyle, G Harmer, T Pratt