Henley Town 0 Thame United 9
The Red Kites entertained Thame United, also nicknamed the Red Kites, on Saturday at the Triangle for their last Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division match of the season. At the start of the game the visitors were level on points with Bracknell Town who had a superior goal difference of plus seven and this match and the one at Larges Lane where ‘the Robins’ entertained Highworth Town would decide who won the Hellenic Premier Division Championship. United knew that not only did they have to win but they would have to win by some margin to overturn the goal difference deficit.
Straight from the Kick Off the visitors attacked the Henley goal with vigour and they couldn’t have got off to a better start when after less than half a minute on the clock a long throw in on the left from David Lynn found its way to Ben Connelly who controlled the ball and placed it neatly wide of Henley Keeper Garry Aulsberry. The second goal arrived only two minutes later when Referee Alexander Emery surprisingly awarded a penalty which Lyndon Goss fired into the roof of the Henley net.
Although shocked the young Henley Town side never gave up and almost pulled a goal back when a Chris Byrne header was well saved by Thame keeper Jamie Perkins. Thame immediately went to the other end and a Luke Ricketts pass found Dan West and he coolly lobbed Aulsberry to make it 3-0 after 14 minutes. The fourth goal arrived after 18 minutes when an Adam Morris corner was found the unmarked Tom Ashworth who finished with confidently from six yards.
The young Henley side, with 6 teenagers in the side, were finding it hard to cope with the experienced Thame sides quick and direct style of play but 17 year olds James Spruyt worked hard to cause a few problems to the visitors defence with his pace and Owen Davies, Billy Cole and Reece Buckett are prospects for the next season.
In the 28th the referee awarded another very dubious penalty against Patrick Gardner and leading goal scorer Lyndon Goss stepped forward to dispatch the ball past Aulsberry.
Whilst the news filtered through that Bracknell Town had taken the lead against Highworth that did not deter United and they made it 6-0 before the interval when Goss capitalised on hesitancy in the Town’s defence and rounded Aulsberry to complete his hatrick.
The opening stages of the first half were not as frantic and the game was more end to end with James Spruyt and Chris Hood having shots at the Thame goal. Garry Aulsberry then made a terrific save from Ellis Hercules then in the 55th minute Thame made it 7-0 when Goss notched his fourth goal. On the 68th minute Goss was fouled in the box and he stepped forward to notch his third goal from the penalty spot. Substitute Andy Gledhill then fed Goss for his sixth goal, and United’s ninth goal, in the 78 minute.
News started to filter trough that Highworth Town had taken the lead at Bracknell and the large Thame following were in party mood as United secured the Hellenic League Championship for the first time in 45 years and now move on to the Southern League next season.
As for Henley it is mainly a season to forget, they had a reasonable start but the side that were promoted and won the Reading Senior Cup last season gradually broke up with players moving to other clubs who pay players. The Club have had three managers during the season but there is hope with the latest incumbents who are bringing in talented young players. So whatever League the Red Kites are in next season the future on the football field looks brighter.
Not only did Henley finish bottom of the Hellenic Premier Division they again finished bottom of the attendances. The club have worked hard to bring the Triangle ground up to FA Level 5 standard but the support from the Town is very poor.
Team: Garry Aulsberry, Billy Cole, Patrick Gardner, Luke Husbands, Chris Byrne, Callum Carlisle, Tommy Elmore, Owen Davies, Reece Buckett, James Spruyt, Chris Hood. Subs: Liam Tindall (for Elmore 46min), Corey Hall (for Gardner 46min), Craigh Dunn (for Husbands 65mins) Dan Bridger (not used) Fraser Mowat (not used)
FRIENDS OF HENLEY TOWN F.C. WEEKLY BONUS BALL LOTTERY
Licensed by the South Oxfordshire District Council – Registration Number: 119
The winning number for 8th April 2017 is:-
No. 21 – William Layne from Caversham – £25.00