On paper at least, this was a fixture was a mismatch. Henley, still yet to be defeated this season, came up against an Eastcote team that had already lost eight times. Despite this difference in their results to date, the opening exchanges were very even, both sides taking turns to attack but not really threatening to score. Henley lined up with their usual 4-4-2 formation, in goal was teenager Ryan Foggoa, who is having a great first season at the club, having conceded just 8 goals in 12 matches. The back four, comprising of Ian Roberts, Jeremy Clarke, Rowan Austin and Oscar Wiseman provided a formidable barrier in front of Foggoa.
Jeremy Clarke was transferring the ball across the back to Roberts or Wiseman. Attacking wise although Henley had sporadic attacks, the most consistent threat came from Wiseman’s aerials from his right-back position. Eastcote had trouble reacting to the highball and Henley thought they’d scored when once such aerial went straight in the D and Eastcote defender turned it past the keeper. The nearest umpire awarded the goal but his counterpart stepped in and argued that the Henley forward was within five metres of the defender and therefore the goal was chalked off.
The scored remained 0-0 till after halftime but Henley were starting to get into their stride. Jack Draycott on the left flank and James Wood on the right were able to advance with the ball into the opposing 25 quite freely. The pregame strategy was to move John Boumphrey to a high midfield position in order to provide greater to support to the forwards. The two forward positions rotated between Chris Maidlow, Guy Harmer and Cass Cheeseman and they were starting to get chances. The breakthrough was made when Harmer cut into the D from his favoured inside right position and crossed sharply for Cheesman to initially stop the ball and then dink into the goal.
Despite Henley leading and looking comfortable, they seemed irritated by the umpires who they deemed as over officious. Eventually one umpire tired of Oscar Wiseman’s protestations and he was sent sin binned. In fact there were a few cards for the Henley team during the second half.
Even though Henley were down to ten men it was during this period that they got their second goal. From a short corner, Draycott pushed the ball out to Price to stop at the top of the D and Roberts scored with a high flick into the top left-hand corner; a perfectly executed short corner.
Eastcote got a goal back from a short corner and they started to really press in search of an equalizer but Henley were too strong and moved above Sonning 2s