Hard-Fought Battle for Henley Against Maidenhead

Henley 5th 1 – 5 Maidenhead 4th

In a hard-fought battle on a crisp and sunny Saturday afternoon, Henley Hockey Men’s 5th faced local rivals Maidenhead in their first home league game of the new season.  The Henley team including a number of new faces this season, teenagers Dom Proudfoot and Jamie Taylor making their home debuts in league matches for the first time, entered the game following a 1-1 draw the previous week away at Newbury & Thatcham.

The first quarter of the match saw Maidenhead taking the lead with some precise passing and skillful play around the Henley ‘D’, knocking in the first goal of the game with a strike into the top corner past ‘keeper Piers Edgell.  Maidenhead snatched a second shortly after with a scuffed effort from close range following a goal-line scramble, Henley then failed to clear as an unmarked runner picked up a stray pass and ran unchallenged into the D to power the ball into the top corner past Edgell in the Henley goal.  Being 3-0 down after 20 mins wasn’t reflective of possession, Henley coming close to scoring themselves with efforts from Sam Austin and Ian Rechner forcing saves from Maidenhead’s goalie.

Henley, however, responded with resilience and teamwork to earn a short corner just before half time and managed to pull a goal back with a well-executed penalty corner, Ian Rechner working the ball to debutant Jamie Taylor, perfectly placed at the far post, to lift the ball high into the net, igniting Henley’s belief they could get back into the game.

The second half saw Maidenhead hitting back with two more goals, both from breakaway chances, somewhat against the run of play.  Despite the score deficit, Henley continued to press forward and showcase their determination until the final whistle.  James Edgell was full of running, along with the youth of Matthew Lawson and Dom Proudfoot up-front a constant threat to the Maidenhead back four with their speed!  The final score in the match didn’t reflect the share of play, which was far more even than the 1-5 scoreline and was somewhat harsh on Henley.  With Reading up next this Saturday, Henley will need to be crisper in their passing and more composed on the ball.

Henley 5ths.
Piers Edgell (GK), Jon Williams, Simon Ward, Chris Proudfoot, Nick Shuttleworth, Simon Taylor, Ian Rechner, Matthew Lawson, Jamie Taylor, James Edgell, Dom Proudfoot, Sam Austin (C).

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