Oh what a night! A bumper crowd of 146, enjoyed an evening of drama, both on the pitch and in the skies, as 1st played 2nd in the SIL Senior. Henley defeating Ransomes for the 3rd time this season, on this occasion winning 3-1. Storms and torrential rain throughout, made this game difficult for both sets of players, but with quality in abundance on display, both sides put on a terrific show.

Both teams probed early on, defences called into action often. Henley came close after 20 minutes, a great run and a driven cross from Bruce, was met by Field, but his effort went narrowly wide. Field had the ball in the net 5 minutes later, but was adjudged to have fouled his marker in the process and saw it disallowed. But the Henley pressure continued, and was rewarded after 34 minutes, a throw from Hammond, flicked on by Tejano, to be elegantly lobbed home by George Ablitt from the edge of the area for 1-0. Despite Henley having the better of the 1st half, Ransomes had a good period of pressure as it drew to a close, but at HT the score remained 1-0

Both keepers were called into action early on in the 2nd period, as Ransomes continued to look for a route back in the game, and Henley looked to extend their lead. Field and Bruce were both denied by fine saves, whilst Dixon kept Connick out at the other end. It was Henley who were successful however, when on 73 minutes the ball was recycled back out to Hammond, his driven cross caused mayhem in the six yard area, leaving Field to pounce and force home for 2-0.

Within a minute of the restart, Dixon had to dive full length to push a point blank shot around the post. But from the subsequent corner, Ransomes gave themselves a sliver of hope, Connick scoring from close range to make it 2-1. Ransomes had their best period of the game now, hitting the outside of the post, before the impressive Connick inexplicably poked wide from 2 yards out when it looked easier to score. At the other end Watling looked certain to score after cutting inside, but he slipped as he shot and scuffed his effort into the arms of the visiting keeper. Watling made up for it on 86 minutes, with a fantastic goal. As Henley applied another bout of pressure, Watling picked the ball up on the right, cut inside and fired home a low left foot shot, in off the inside of the post to make in 3-1 causing, wild and very wet celebrations amongst the assembled, soggy, Henley Ultras.

Both sides continued to press, but it was Henley who ran out deserved victors in a very tight game against a strong Ransomes team, who have pushed us all the way this season. Despite some fine goals and forward play, this was a game for gritty, tough and industrious midfielders, Tejano winning the Ultra’s MOTM vote for Henley, as he continues to improve year on year. It was Tejano’s ex midfield partner, Carracio, now at Ransomes, who did much the same role for the visitors, who was their MOTM too, both of them going toe to toe for 90 minutes. Praise too for Bell at centre half for Henley, once again his calmness, skill and reading of the game, belying his years. All players, on both sides gave their all, but there is something indefatigable about this Henley side, a will to win instilled into every member of the squad, coupled with a complete refusal to admit defeat, that has produced success again this season.

A word to for the ever faithful Henley Ultras, with many more sane and sensible spectators running for cover, or the bar! The Ultras remained on the touchline, cheering the lads home throughout.

A mention also for Referee Phil South, who gave his usual controlled display of game management in the middle, in what was his final game, we all hope he enjoys his retirement.