Wallingford 1 Henley 1
On yet another warm sunny Saturday afternoon, Henley Hockey Men’s 5th team faced local rivals Wallingford 5ths in their second away game of the league season, having drawn their first game away from Jubilee Park 1-1 at Newbury & Thatcham a couple of weeks ago. The Henley team again included a mixture of young teenagers and experienced players who are beginning to understand how to combine their skills into an effective team who are hard to break down.
Henley started the game in a confident mood, shifting the ball patiently around the back and calmly mopping up anything Wallingford were able to throw at them. Shuttleworth in the Henley goal marshalling his defence with assurance, despite having not played in goal for a number of years! Chris Proudfoot and John Williams began to find space with balls into the midfield, often feeding Jamie Taylor on the right who combined well with Sam Austin to make a number of probing attacks into the Wallingford half, however, the ‘keeper was rarely troubled until half an hour into the game. Henley’s goal came in a move started by Williams feeding the ball from the back to Simon Taylor in midfield, his diagonal run drawing defenders away from the Wallingford ‘D’ allowing David Corke to get free of his marker and receive the ball from Taylor’s pass to slot his shot low into the corner off the near post. Wallingford immediately responded and won a succession of short corners before eventually scrambling an equaliser on the whistle for half time.
The second half saw the game open up, both sides winning a succession of short corners, Shuttleworth in the Henley goal making a number of fine saves and clearing kicks from Wallingford’s increasingly successful forays forward. Though there were no more goals, the movement and urgency from Henley never abated and another point from a potentially tricky away fixture bodes well for the rest of the season as the team begins to function better as a collective unit. Henley’s next game, after a week off, is another local derby at home (Jubilee Park) 16.30 on Saturday 28th October.
Nick Shuttleworth (GK), Piers Edgell, Jon Williams, Simon Ward, Rupert Gutteridge, Chris Proudfoot, Simon Taylor, Matthew Lawson, Jamie Taylor, Dom Proudfoot, Sam Austin (Captain), David Corke, Duncan Gray.