A crowd of 74 saw Henley forced to battle hard, to at long last, overcome long-standing bogey side East Bergholt 2-1.

Henley had the better of the early stages, forcing a succession of corners early on and piling the pressure on the visitor’s defence. However, after 20 minutes, somewhat against the run of play, it was Bergholt who took the lead. Peck hitting a rocket of a strike from fully 40 yards, lost by home keeper Dixon in the low sun, it flew over him into the net for a 0-1 lead to the visitors. This spurred Bergholt into their best period of the game, keeping the ball well and frustrating Henley, but without really troubling Dixon further. Meanwhile at the other end, Bull forced Colver into a low save, Ablitt saw his strike go narrowly wide and on 40 minutes a goalmouth scramble saw an effort deflected onto the bar and to safety. But a solid Bergholt held on well, leaving the score deservedly 0-1 at HT.

The second half saw a much more positive start from Henley and they were rewarded after 52 minutes. A Hammond throw in caused panic in the Bergholt box, the ball deflecting and bouncing up onto a Bergholt arm, saw the softest of penalties awarded. Bruce staying cool and smashed the spot kick home for 1-1. Hammond was the instigator on 60 minutes, his terrific free kick, found the gap between back line and keeper, initially cleared, the ball found Bruce 8 yards out. He calmly hit a half volley with the outside of his boot to find the only gap in the crowded box to give Henley a 2-1 lead.

To Bergholt’s credit, their heads didn’t drop and they keep pushing for an equaliser, without creating a clear opportunity, Henley looked likely to add to their score, but Bergholt dug deep, played for each other and quashed each attack. But Henley also defended well and saw the game out to collect the points.

A capable, if not thrilling performance from Henley, who displayed character and closed out the visitors to seal the win. Great to see Bruce doing what he does best, putting the ball in the net, Cowan also had a great game in the middle, but it was Hammond, whose experience and quality saw him collect the most votes in the Ultra’s MOTM vote.

As for Bergholt, they’re clearly in a false league position, their quality clearly belies their lowly status. Organised and difficult to break down, they asked a lot of questions of Henley, once they find their rhythm they’ll head up the division.