A fine team performance from Henley saw them dominate throughout to achieve a 1-5 away victory at Haughley. This clash of 3rd versus 2nd drew a crowd of 68 to the King George VI Playing Field, where they were entertained by a display of flowing football and great commitment from both sides.

Henley attacked straight from the off, with the home goal leading a charmed life in the opening 5 minutes, shots from Bruce and Cowan saved and George Ablitt’s header bouncing down off the crossbar before being cleared. Henley pressure continued, but it was the home side that took the lead, totally against the run of play after 11 minutes, a ball over the top out wide found Ben Golding, his excellent cross was rifled past Lynch from 12 yards by his brother Reece for 1-0.

Haughley joy was short-lived however, when on 24 minutes Bruce was clumsily felled in the box and, as always, stepped up to slot home the subsequent penalty kick for 1-1. Henley were rampant now, sending forward wave after wave of attacks and pinning Haughley back, they took the lead on 37 minutes when a Bruce free kick was deliciously flicked home by Tejano for 1-2. A minute later this was almost repeated, Gav Van Oene sliding in to apply a finish to another Bruce freekick, but his effort cannoned back off the bar. But, on 44 minutes Henley did extend their lead, a raking diagonal ball from George Ablitt, bisected the Haughley defence to find his brother Liam, one touch and a low drive saw the ball in the bottom corner, making the score 1-3 at HT.

Within 2 minutes of the restart, it was 1-4, Liam Ablitt racing into the box, only to be scythed down from behind. Bruce once again with the spot kick, keeping his cool to finish twice when the referee ordered a retake. On 57 minutes, yet again Tejano came close, his deft touch on a Liam Ablitt cross rolling mere inches wide. On the 80th minute a delightful drag back and precise pass from Thrower, picked out Shore, who powered through the Haughley defence, he shaped to shoot, before squaring the ball to Watling to fire home for 1-5. There was still time for more efforts, Watling’s low shot scraping off the foot of the post and Liam Ablitt putting one narrowly wide before the final whistle.

Probably our best, all-round performance of the season to date, with Cowan winning the Ultras’s MOTM vote with an all action showing. Shore was sensational at full back, both defending and going forward, this was echoed by Smythe on the other side. Debutant Driver, showed all his class and experience at the back alongside Storey, whilst Haughley had no answers to the pace and trickery of the forward line of Bruce and the Ablitt brothers. However, it was in midfield that Henley won this game, Tejano, Van Oene and Cowan were simply superb.

Credit to Haughley, who didn’t stop trying and played for each other for the whole 90 minutes, a great display of teamwork.