A crowd of 162 watched a top of the table clash at the Blue Circle ground, with leaders Claydon losing 1-4 to 2nd place Henley.

Despite some even early play, Claydon had a couple of good opportunities, but failed to take advantage of them. In the 15th minute it was the visitors who took the lead, a terrific ball forward by Mark Van Oene, with the outside of his boot, deceived Codrington and set Bruce through one on one, taking one touch to control and picking his spot with his second, he didn’t give keeper Dixon time to get set as he made it 0-1. Shortly after Cowan burst through on the right to round Dixon, but he was forced wide and his shot could only find the side netting. Henley doubled their lead after 34 minutes, George Ablitt tricking his way past Codrington, only to be pulled back, Bruce hit the subsequent 22 yard freekick over the wall and into the top corner for 0-2.

Claydon’s day got worse after 42 minutes, Woodhouse’s late and nasty challenge on Bruce, saw Mr Eriera produce a straight red as the home side were reduced to 10. Their problems were further compounded on 45 minutes when Gavin Van Oene powered his header, from George Ablitt’s pinpoint corner, into the roof of the net for a HT score of 0-3.

Claydon had a glimmer of hope within 2 minutes of the restart, the ever-impressive Cole pouncing on a slip up in the Henley defence, to brilliantly fire home a low drive from a tight angle past Lynch for 1-3. This produced the best period of the game for the home side, albeit that the visiting defence quashed their attempts to get back in the game. At the other end Bruce released Cowan with a lovely diagonal ball, but his finish lacked his usual quality and went wide. Henley kept the pressure up and only a magnificent, point blank save from Dixon kept Bruce out, Thrower also saw his fierce drive well blocked. Any chance of a Claydon comeback were extinguished after 75 minutes, some excellent control and play by George Ablitt on the edge of the area, saw him slide a lovely ball through into the path of Gavin van Oene, who swept home for 1-4.

Again, a fine all round team performance from Henley against a strong Claydon side, the Ultra’s MOTM vote was split amongst a few players, but Gavin Van Oene came out on top with a dominant display. Everyone played well, but Bruce deserves a mention for two well taken goals, George Ablitt was a “wasp at a picnic”, annoying the home defence throughout, fullbacks White and Smythe gave their all to deny any attempts from Claydon and Tejano was, as usual, seemingly everywhere at once. All in all, a complete team effort in the biggest game of the season so far and a well deserved 3 points for Henley.