A crowd of 132 watched Claydon extend their early lead at the top of the table with a hard fought 0-1 win in the tightest of games at Henley. Not one for fans of “The beautiful game” this typical derby was one of wholehearted effort, commitment and attrition, which, despite the wealth of talent on display in both sides, failed to produce the attacking game most anticipated. The one moment of true quality in front of goal, being the terrific Codrington finish that separated the sides. Stop start throughout, both teams struggled to really get their passing games going, more effort seemingly going into disrupting play and unaided by an official clearly not a fan of Mike Riley’s directive to let the game flow.

Henley had the earliest chance when Liam Ablitt cut in from the right and curled his effort wide, a shot from Bruce was well blocked shortly after. Claydon took the lead after 20 minutes Codrington one on one with Storey down the left, an untimely loss of footing on the wet surface by the home defender, giving Codrington the slightest gap, which he took advantage of, with some style. Powering into the box and slamming home past Lynch from a narrow angle making it 0-1 with a superb finish.

Henley immediately pushed for an equaliser, with a goalmouth scramble seeing Hender clear his line twice to preserve the Claydon lead and a long range effort from Thrower whistle narrowly wide, leaving it 0-1 at the break.

If anything, the 2nd half was even more attritional and competitive than the 1st, as both teams gave their all, but attacks ground against defence at either end of the pitch, with neither keeper really having to make a save until very late in the game. Henley had chances from Van Oene, Thrower and Bruce but all went wide or high until late in the game when Hender did well to save from Bruce and again from Tejano. At the other end Claydon had the ball in the net on the break, but saw it disallowed for a foul in the build up, twice home keeper Lynch kept Henley in the game with fine saves from Cole and Rudge as Claydon broke while Henley pressed.

As aforementioned, not a pretty game, but a real battle between two sides, who’ll both be in the mix for honours at the end of the season, on this occasion Claydon working hard for the points, defending as a team, from front to back.