These two evenly matched sides met for the 2nd week running, this time in the league, where a large crowd saw a pulsating battle, with Henley coming from 2-0 down, to draw 2-2, even when reduced to 9 men for the last 8 minutes.

Halesworth started very brightly, piling on the pressure from the start, Summerfield’s effort glancing off the top of the bar after only 5 minutes. Henley were struggling to get their game going and Halesworth took full advantage, dominating the early stages with some fine passing football.  The home side deservedly took the lead after 16 minutes, Summerfield recycling the ball after a cleared corner and Backhouse firing in a low cross, which was well met at the back post by Whiteman for 1-0.

This stung the visitors into action, George Ablitt having a header cleared off the line during a massive period of Henley pressure with five consecutive corners, Ridgard bravely stopping a vicious drive from Gavin Van Oene with what can only be described as a delicate part of his anatomy.

Halesworth still had the upper hand though and extended their lead with an astonishing long range strike from Moore, who rifled home from fully 35 yards to make it 2-0. Henley were getting frustrated now, by their lack of form and by some decisions, resulting in a couple of silly yellow cards, one of which would prove significant later. Halesworth continued to control the game, but the score remained 2-0 at HT, much to the delight of the vociferous home support.

The Henley management changed things around, with Reid and Thrower coming on after the break. The difference apparent, Henley started to have more possession and began to flow. On 50 minutes, this was rewarded, Thrower picking out Cowan with a fine cross field ball, Cowan danced past two defenders to cross for Bruce to slam home from close range for 2-1. Henley pressure continued, Thrower and George Ablitt, both shooting narrowly wide across the face of goal. Halesworth were still dangerous though and Lynch was called into action to make 2 excellent saves to keep Henley in the game.

Controversy reigned in the 65 minute, Cowan chasing down a ball, Halesworth keeper Anderson collected got there first and collected, Cowan, at full speed, was unable to stop and collided with him,  Anderson cleverly taking advantage and going down, predictably leading a 2nd yellow and subsequent red and Henley were down to 10.

Seemingly buoyed by this perceived injustice, Henley played some of their best football, Halesworth being unable to take advantage of having the extra man. Justice was served after 80 minutes Thrower playing a ball into the run of Shore, his cross was headed down by Watling and gleefully smashed home by Bruce for 2-2 to stunned silence from the home crowd. Further drama followed, with Thrower sinbinned for protesting a decision, meaning Henley had to see out the final 8 minutes with only 9 men. A succession of last ditch tackles, brave blocks and defending as a unit, epitomised by Henley captain and MOTM Storey, who put his body on the line time and time again saw the visitors hold out for a deserved share of the points.

A tough but fair game, against a terrific footballing side, played in a good manner by both sets of players, who like their clubs mutually respect each other, not one bad challenge in the game, although the litany of cards issued may cause those not there to believe otherwise. Halesworth will doubtless be disappointed to see a 2 goal lead slip away, particularly as they played so well, Summerfield, as always their stand out player. But from a Henley viewpoint, coming back from 2-0 down feels like a win and shows the passion and commitment we have in this squad.