Henley returned from Benhall with all 3 points following a disciplined performance in a combative game. After their humiliation at Claydon last week, Henley knew that Benhall, who were now back to full strength, would be keen to demonstrate that they were still a force, which they chose to show with a determined and possibly, at times, too passionate performance.

Henley had the ball in the net within 3 minutes, Bruce firing home from close range, the goal was initially awarded, but disallowed after the referee consulted with his assistant, who was under pressure from the home side. After 10 minutes Henley were frustrated yet again, Bruce released Cowan into the box and as he was about to score from six yards out, he was clearly brought down from behind, however to the shock of all present the blatant penalty was waved away (post match, even the Benhall bench said they were stunned by the decision).

Aided and abetted by a lack of punishment the challenges flew in. Bruce left requiring treatment, after a particularly poor one which didn’t even see a free-kick awarded. Mid half Tejano hit the bar and Storey had the follow up cleared off the line. On 40 minutes Henley’s dominance finally told, a break out after a Benhall corner saw a great run by Tejano, he picked out Cowan, who’s cross was met by Watling, his initial effort was blocked by Taylor, but Bruce was on hand to slot home the rebound for 0-1 at HT.

On 48 minutes a fierce free-kick from Bruce was well saved by Taylor, the ball went straight up the other end and this time Holland had to make a fine save from Winter. On 60 minutes the crowd unfortunately saw a truly awful 2 footed challenge from behind by Harper, on Gavin Van Oene, which almost unbelievably, saw both players receive yellow cards?

After 68 minutes it was 0-2, George Ablitt winning the header, knocking on to Cowan, who calmly picked his spot and passed the ball into the net, past an advancing Taylor. On 77 minutes an uncharacteristic error at the back gifted Benhall a glimpse of a route back into the game, Frost finishing neatly to make it 1-2. However only 5 minutes later it was 1-3, substitute Reid poking home at the near post after a Bruce corner. 2 minutes into stoppage time, Winter finished well to score a consolation goal for Benhall making the final score 2-3.

It’s never a pretty game when we visit Benhall, but thankfully, on the majority of occasions we come away with the points. But today was not a good watch, aggression and physicality was tacitly allowed to come to the fore, oft at the expense of football. A few years back, this was a game that Henley may have lost, but these players are made of sterner stuff and are more than capable of looking after themselves, whilst importantly, maintaining their discipline. Whilst the whole team performed well, the Ultra’s MOTM went to Mark Van Oene, not only dominant in defence, but creative going forward, his best game in a Henley shirt to date. For the home side, young keeper Charlie Taylor had a terrific game and was congratulated post-match by the travelling support.