Suffolk FA Senior Cup: Coplestonians FC 3-3 Henley Athletic FC (Henley win 4-5 on penalties)

A crowd of 81 were treated to a real battle between two determined sides, with the added excitement of a penalty shoot-out, which saw Henley finally progress past Coplestonians to reach the next round of the Suffolk Senior Cup.

Henley pressed Cops from the off, Tejano heading a Hammond ball just wide after 8 minutes. But it was Cops that appeared to have taken a lead after 12 minutes, Mackay sweeping home on the counter attack, only to be denied by what must surely have been, the tightest of offside decisions.  Henley opened the scoring after 22 minutes Hammond’s driven cross flicked goalward by Watling and deflected in for 0-1. Henley had the better of the chances for the majority of the half, Watling heading over, when it looked easier to score and Bull kept out by a fine stop on the stroke of halftime. Cops continued to look dangerous though, Henley stand in keeper Holland, having to make a couple of fairly comfortable stops as they broke forward, but the score remained 0-1 at the break.

Henley should really have extended their lead 2 minutes into the 2nd half, but Storey got too much on his header from an Ablitt corner and it went over the bar. But on 49 minutes Henley did find a way through, good interplay between Watling and Bruce, saw a ball find Bull’s run, the flag stayed down and he made no mistake, confidently slotting home for 2-0.

But Cops found a lifeline within 2 minutes, when Mackay’s cross cum shot, looped over Holland to make it 1-2. Cop’s  were back in it now and on 58 minutes Holland was again called into action, making a great save to maintain the scoreline. But a minute later Cops found the equaliser, Henley caught with too may forward, Godbold steaming down the right and crossing for Mackay to finish well for 2-2. This prompted a strong Henley response, on 64 minutes Bruce crashing an effort off the bar, and taking the lead again on 66 minutes. Another good exchange of passes saw Cowan find Bull, he hit the byline and fired in a low ball, that was turned in by Watling from 6 yards for 2-3.

On 78 minutes a rasping 30 yard strike from Shore, scraped the paint off the outside of the post as Henley continued to press, almost immediately afterwards a rocket of a Van Oene free-kick was tipped round the post. However a brave Cops again drew level, Miller powerfully heading home a Godbold corner at the back post for 3-3. With only 2 minutes remaining Van Oene whistled an effort just wide, but the game finished 3-3 and went to a penalty shoot out.

Henley keeper Holland was the hero, diving to his right to save Cops’ 5th penalty, whilst Van Oene, Hammond, Shore, Field and Bruce scored all 5 for Henley to see them through to the next round.

A really tough encounter, with a Cops side that was much improved from the recent league fixture, but Henley had enough about them, to find a route to the win. The Ultra’s MOTM went to Cowan, who gave an all action performance for 90 minutes. For Cops, young Mackay had a great game, looking a threat every time he went forward.