Newbold shows sublime skill to score decisive goal for 3rds
...and it was Ed, not Fred...
Henley 3rd team delivered another excellent performance to attain a victory against hosts South Berkshire 3rds.
South Berkshire had lost narrowly to league leaders Oxford 3rds the previous week, so Henley knew that this would be a tough fixture.
The opening minutes confirmed that this would be the case, with the home side constructing some powerful attacking moves and looking particularly dangerous on the break.
Playing on a fast but bouncy pitch, Henley initially struggled to gain their normal fluency. However, the visitors soon found their rhythm and settled in to their trademark game of slick passing and powerful hockey.
Mike Woolfrey spearheaded attacking moves from right back, and up front, Andrew Foster-Yeow looked particularly dangerous, capable of running rings around the home defence.
The opening goal came after superb work from left wing Sam Brown, who found Ed Newbold. Newbold drove powerfully into the South Berkshire area, kept the defence at bay with sublime skill, and then shimmied to find enough space to drive a powerful shot into the bottom corner of the goal.
However, the home side quickly restored parity with a goal of their own, following another swift break.
1-1 at half time looked to be a fair reflection of the match. But after the interval, Henley started to look more commanding as Jack Draycott, Richard Nicholson, John-Joe Cottam and Alex Price dominated the midfield.
With South Berkshire struggling to retain possession and starting to tire, Henley won a series of penalty corners. Marshalled by Woolfrey, Henley have looked very dangerous in the corner routine this season. From one corner, Woolfrey delivered a sharp flick which was parried into the path of Foster-Yeow – who unleashed a powerful flick to take Henley into the lead.
With the Henley defence becoming more authoritative (newcomer James Moore delivering a particularly strong performance) South Berkshire struggled to make an impact and Henley closed the game out to secure three points.
The result confirms Henley at second position in the league, meaning that Saturday’s game against Oxford 3rds (3pm, Jubilee Park) will be a top of the table clash.