Francis and Williams Score in Thrilling 2-2 Draw for Hotspurs

AFC Henley U12 Hotspurs were held to a 2-2 draw by Reeves Rangers at a damp Jubilee park in a first league meeting between the teams. Rangers won the toss and kicked off however it was Henley who applied the early pressure with Dexter Harris testing the visiting keeper with a long range shot. Henley quickly took the lead following further attacking play leading to a corner, which was well taken by Jake Williams, finding Tom Francis on the edge of the six yard box who managed to lose his marker and headed past the visitors keeper into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Rangers looked to respond with some skillful attacking play by their forwards but were unable to breach the solid defence of man of the match Harry Wildgoose and Lucas Hendley for Henley, with both making some well time tackles. Henley continued to have most of the possession in the first half with Freddie Piasecki & Stanley Massie dominating the midfield, with Stanley making a number of mazey runs through the visitors defence, and Freddie providing great distribution. As half-time approached Rangers had begun to apply more pressure on the home side but the score remained 1-0 to Henley.

Into the second half Rangers continued to push for an equaliser. Ben Palmer in the Henley goal made a number of outstanding saves to deny the visitors, however they eventually got a breakthrough after Ben made another great diving save only for the ball to fall to an attacking striker for an easy tap in. Henley responded with Taro Finch making some telling runs down the right wing until a coming together with a Reeves defender, leading to a arm injury, unfortunately ending his contribution for the day. The home-side retook the lead when a beautifully flighted George Khairallah cross found Jake Williams unmarked in the penalty box who scored with a well timed volley. They then had the chance to extend the lead when industrious right winger Freddie Formon slipped a through ball to Dexter Harris whose shot hit the rangers cross-bar. A couple of substitutions seemed to revitalise Rangers who began to look for an equaliser, the last 10 minutes of the game were played at a frantic pace mainly in the Henley half. The Henley defence, assisted by Will O’hagan with some dogged tackling in mid-field, managed to keep the visitors at bay. However the home side conceded a corner with a minute to go, which was only cleared to the edge of the penalty box finding a Rangers player who volleyed the ball into the back of the net to bringing the score to 2-2, seconds before the final whistle blew.

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