Henley Kites U18 took on Winnersh Rangers Wolves on Saturday in the early kick off at their Harpsden ground.
Wolves got off to a good start and scored from a corner in the opening 5 minutes with an impressive overhead kick into the far corner beating Ellis Dombey the Henley Kites goal keeper. After the early disappointment Henley settled into the game and Tom Priestley came close after rising well to head the ball over the opposition bar from a superb Matt Powell corner. Both teams battled well for the next 20 minutes before a long kick from the Kites goalkeeper was flicked on by Priestley and latched onto by Lukhanyo Zitha who outstripped the defence and slotted the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner for his 5th goal in 2 matches.
With half time approaching the Kites played some good passes between Sam Williams the Kites midfield and Seb Beattie down the right hand side of the pitch before earning a throw in close to Wolves goal line. Beattie took the throw which landed close to the penalty spot and was picked up by Cameron Fisher who turned well and slotted the ball into the corner of the goal beating the keeper diving to his right.
The second half started with some tough tackling and was a bit scrappy with neither team having any definite chances on goal and the Kites defence of Greg Bennett, Lewis Coles, Sam Williams, Samuel Baker well screened by Jody Bucket and then Adam Bellman snuffing out all of the threats from Winnersh. With 15 minutes gone in the second half a big kick from Dombey was again latched onto by Zitha who with a deft flick of the right boot beat the approaching keeper and extended his current goal run to 6. I
In the next 10 minutes both Fisher and Zitha were unlucky not to score again after the Kites created some good chances with a number of fantastic through balls from the midfield of Joe Morgan, Liam Gaskin, Tom Priestley and Seb Beattie. Wolves scored what turned out to be a consolation goal midway through the second half.
The result could have been very different as Wolves were awarded a penalty in the last minute of the game which fortunately for the hosts hit the post and was then put out for a corner. All of the Kites players performed extremely well, with Lewis Coles named man of the match for his calm defending and ability to turn defence into attack. Final score Henley Kites 3 – 2 Winnersh Rangers Wolves.