Red Kites to Face Local Rivals Chinnor

There are two matches for Henley Town’s first team in the coming week, and each should give them a chance of a somewhat rare victory.

On Saturday they visit Chinnor in Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, kicking off at 3 p.m. Chinnor stand at the foot of the table with but a single point from their five starts. Last Saturday they lost 6-0 at home to Sandhurst Town, a club that had previously won 4-0 at the Invesco Perpetual Triangle.

Football in Chinnor goes back a long way, so it is rather surprising that the clubs did not meet at any level before the 1949-50 season, when their first team were in the same league as Henley Reserves.

Another 25 years elapsed before the two first teams clashed, since when they have met frequently. Chinnor have had slightly the better of the 57 meetings, winning 27 of them to the Town’s 20, with 10 matches drawn. The most recent fixtures were two years ago in Division 1 East, when, despite Henley’s going on gain promotion, they managed only one point, losing 2-0 at home before drawing 4-4 at Station Road.

Next Tuesday, the Red Kites have the rare luxury of a home game, kicking off at 7.45 p.m. In ten competitive and friendly matches this season, it will be only the second time they have appeared before their own supporters. Their opponents are Launton Sports, and the match is in the first round of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup, which is making an earlier start this season.

Launton are currently the bottom team in the Premier Division of the Oxfordshire Senior League, having lost 7-0 at home to Cropredy last week, but they have only played twice. It is believed that Launton Sports are the same club that played as Launton United when opposing Henley in 1975-76 and 1977-78, though this is not certain. More recently, the clubs clashed in the Senior Cup two years running, in 1994-95 and 1995-56, when the Town gained two comfortable wins. Then, in an isolated season, in 2008-09, both clubs were in the Hellenic Division 1 East, Henley gaining four points from the two games.

The reserves are again at home in a league fixture on Saturday, their opponents being Braybrooke, kicking off at p.m. The Sunday team also have another home league game, entertaining Woolhampton, kick-off 10.30 a.m.

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