U12 Hotspurs Hold League Leaders to a Thrilling Draw

After recording their first win of the season last week away against Binfield Cobras, AFC Henley U12 Hotspurs faced league leaders Pinewood Pumas at Jubilee Park with renewed confidence.

Hotspurs started strongly with an early attack from striker Dexter Harris, the Pumas countered, however were unable to breach the Hotspurs defence of captain Lucas Hendley and Harry Wildgoose, who were solid throughout the game. Renewed pressure paid-dividends with Henley getting the breakthrough when new signing George Khairallah threaded a neat through ball to Tom Francis who scored with a clinical left foot shot.

The home side then came close to doubling their lead with a beautifully struck free kick from Stanley Massie which beat the visiting keeper only to hit the post. The Pinewood team began to press forward but were unable to equalise with Freddie Piasecki making a number of well timed tackles to frustrate the visitors, however just before half-time they levelled the score with a scrambled goal in the Henley penalty box.

The second half started at a high tempo with play moving from end-to-end, good build-up play and passing from Will O’Hagan and Freddie Formon, led to a shot from Max Cranstoun forcing a good save from the Pinewood keeper. However it was the visitors who took the lead, with a long ball from the keeper finding the Pumas forward who scored with a unstoppable strike.

The last 15 minutes were played at a frantic pace with Henley looking for the equaliser. Pressure from the home side lead to a free kick on the left side of the attacking half, which was cleanly struck by Taro Finch and headed past the visiting keeper by George Khairallah to level the score. With both sides now looking for the winning goal, Hotspurs Keeper Ben Palmer denied the visitors with a number of outstanding saves. The game end with a score of 2-2, with Lucas Hendley and Harry Wildgoose awarded joint Man of the Match.