A crowd of 87 watched a very competitive Suffolk Senior Cup tie, which saw home side Henley Athletic, progress to the next round courtesy of a 2-0 victory over visitors Halesworth Town. The two, closely matched sides battled for every ball throughout the game, neither side giving an inch in an exciting match.

An audacious 40 yard effort from Cowan, who had spotted Halesworth keeper Anderson of his line, drifted narrowly past the post in the opening minutes. Anderson was again the centre of attention as he raced out of his box and felled Bruce just outside the area, the resulting free-kick coming to naught. Halesworth broke down the right, a fine cross from Summerfield, setting up Payne who looked certain to score from 8 yards out, but he was denied by a magnificent save from Lynch, low to his right.

George Ablitt cut inside and let fly, but Anderson did well to tip over after 10 minutes, the Ablitt brothers combined on 15 minutes, a great through ball from George, raced onto by Liam, who’s shot was bravely stopped by Anderson’s face.

Halesworth looked dangerous and had plenty of possession, but great work from the Henley defence, especially fullbacks White and Reid, negated their threat from the wings. Just before the break Henley took the lead, Reid winning the ball at left back and finding Thrower. He elegantly lifted a ball over the Halesworth full back for George Ablitt, who beat two defenders and drilled a shot which Anderson could only palm away, straight to the feet of Liam Ablitt, who rifled home from just inside the box for 1-0 at HT.

The second half was a terrific contest, the battle mainly fought in midfield, with plenty of big, but mostly fair, challenges coming in from both sides. However it was the home defence that was the firmer of the two, the visitors rendered unable of getting a shot on target throughout the half. On 66 minutes Henley extended their lead George Ablitt capitalising on a defensive miscommunication to nick the ball off Anderson and stroke it into the empty net for 2-0.

Halesworth scrapped until the final whistle, never letting their heads drop for a second, but it was still Henley who looked the more likely to score as the visitors left space whilst pushing forward. However the battle continued and Henley held out for a clean sheet and a cup win.

George Ablitt won the Ultra’s MOTM, creating one goal and scoring another, whilst badgering the Halesworth defence throughout. But plenty of praise and respect is due for all involved on both sides, in a tough but fair game, visiting defender Tane Backhouse garnering admiration from the home support. The vagaries of the fixture list, sees Henley visit Halesworth in the league next Saturday, sure to be, like all our matches, a tight game.

Today’s game was well officiated by Mr Keeble and his assistants and it was good to see them and the Halesworth lads in the clubhouse enjoying the post match grub.