Injuries deplete Men's 4s
Taylor's tactics prove vital.
Henley 4s headed off to Oxford Hawks early on Saturday with some trepidation, missing both regular centre backs plus 2 other key players following injury in the previous game, against a team on level points to them looked tricky.
10 minutes into the game it seemed all of the concerns were valid. Two devastating breaks by the Hawks 2 shots on goal and the Amber and Blues were 2-0 down starting down the barrel of a potential rout. Cometh the Hour Cometh the Man, Captain Simon Taylor made some rotations and installed Ed Newbold into the Centre Back position with a clear directive, No One Shall Pass, and so slowly with Newbold running the game a turnaround started.
Confidence was returning to the team and with the young legs of Henry Davis and Dino Chessman working tirelessly in midfield able supported by the experience of Taylor, Phil Biggs and Ian Rechner green shoots of control were appearing.
First off the rack was a great goal by Jules Aplin latching on to a cross from Matt Carter, Aplin controlled the ball as he strode into the D and lifted it over the advancing Hawks keeper. 2 Minutes later it was all level, with Neil Emmett cheekily tapping the ball over the line from what was surely going to a be another goal for Aplin. Henley were now rampant and a short corner was sweetly dispatched by Tim Cima to make it 3-2 and amazingly on the stroke of half time Aplin again found the net with a blistering strike from the top of the D to make it 4-2 at half time.
Somewhat shell-shocked from the Henley response Hawks came out fighting for the second half. With a re-gig of formation of their own they now had a spell of dominance and managed to score a goal from a good piece of interplay down the Henley left. However, Henley quickly responded and another Corner from Cima re-established the 2 goal margin. Once again though this end to end game wasn’t finished and it was Hawks who scored next to make it 5-4 with the clock ticking down.
With less than a minute to go the Hawks centre-forward strode forward and found himself one on one with the Henley keeper following a strong through ball, David Rechner stood firm in goal and denied Hawks what looked like the equaliser. From the save the ball was quickly worked forward to Cheesman who advanced into the opposition half, beat 2 advancing Hawks players and expertly laid the ball off to Davis who unselfishly squared the ball for Cima to tap in a claim a well deserved hat-trick.
Overall a great result for Henley with the younger lads who stepped up from the 5ths team showing the potential they and others in the club have bodes well for the future.