U12 Hotspurs Clip Falcons Wins

AFC Henley U12 Hotspurs, and a small band of dedicated supporters, travelled to Hawley Falcons on the Hampshire/Berkshire border for one of their furthest distance fixtures of the season, and were rewarded with a 4-1 victory. Heavy overnight rain had continued into the morning, so with Henley’s game the second of the day the pitch was already looking like a quagmire prior to kick-off. However Henley started brightly and were soon able to make an early breakthrough. A Stanley Massey Free kick from just inside the Falcons half was headed into the 6 yard box by Dexter Harris, finding striker Jake Williams who volleyed the ball into the back of the net. Henley didn’t seem to let the wet conditions affect their game and they continued to press to extend their lead. Tom Francis made a probing run on the left wing, cutting the ball back to Stanley Massie who delivered a great cross, finding Jake Williams again in the penalty area. His first shot was saved by the Hawley keeper however he spilled the ball and Jake quickly followed up to score on his second attempt. Henley’s third goal came from a great piece of individual skill from Jack Scanlon, who picked up the ball inside the Henley half and dribbled past two Falcons players – then playing a lovely 1-2 with Jake Williams before finishing with a powerful shot beating the home keeper. Hawley looked to get back into the game but were unable to breach the solid Henley defence of Freddie Piasecki & Harry Wildgoose, with Ben Palmer in the Henley Goal not seeing a lot of the ball in the first half.

Into the second half, Hotspurs fourth goal was a great team effort. A goal kick was played wide to Freddie Piasecki in defence who supplied a beautifully flighted long ball to Freddie Formon in midfield, a great through ball from Freddie divided the Hawley defence which Taro Finch ran onto and struck cleanly to make it 4-0. With Henley now playing into wind, and tiring due to the muddy conditions and a single substitute, they began to drop back and defend deeper into their own half, looking to hold out for their first clean sheet of the season. However it was not to be. Hawleys goal came from a piece of refereeing best described as “harsh but fair”. A Hawley cross was intercepted by Ben Palmer in the Henley goal, looking to start a counter attack Ben rushed to the edge of his area and made a big kick past the halfway line. The referee judged that Ben had gone outside of his penalty box with the ball in his hand – and awarded a free kick to Hawley on the edge of the Hotspurs penalty area. Complaints from the Henley team that the pitch was so muddy that the lines weren’t visible fell on deaf ears. The Hawley striker converted the free kick to a goal with a well taken shot curling the ball over the Hotspurs wall giving Ben no chance. The goal seemed to revitalise the Falcons who started to apply more pressure, winning 3 successive corners in the Henley half. However again the Henley defence was solid with Man of the Match Freddie Piasecki making some well timed tackles and Ben Palmer making a number of saves to see the game to full time. Final score Henley Hotspurs 4 Hawley Falcons 1.