A crowd of 62, boosted by a large travelling contingent of Henley Ultras, saw the home side swept aside in a shock and awe 1st half, the visitors eventually winning 2-6.

Holidays and a wedding saw Henley reduced to a bare 12 players available, but it had little effect on what was a superb all round team performance. Henley took the lead after only 3 minutes, the ball brought out of defence by Shore, onto Van Oene and Bruce, who released Watling through, he outmuscled his marker and stroked home from just outside the box for 0-1. Within 2 minutes only a fine stop from Bolsover prevented Bruce adding a second. But the Henley faithful didn’t have to wait long, on 9 minutes Hammond played in Watling who cut inside his man and curled in from the edge of the box for 0-2. Henley were dominant now and only a couple of good saves from Bolsover kept Wickham from being overrun.

But they couldn’t hold Henley back for long and on 28 minutes came the goal of the game, Shore intercepting a Wickham pass on the edge of his own box, racing forward his 40 yard diagonal ball precisely picked out Bruce on the right, his cross was viciously volleyed home by Van Oene to make it 0-3. Wickham showed no signs of quitting though and Spurling was forced to dive to his left to turn away a crisp shot that came through a group of players shortly after. But Henley still had more to give, on 42 minutes, Van Oene’s ball from midfield releasing Bruce, he knocked the ball past the advancing Bolsover, leapt over his dive and rolled the ball into the empty net to make it 0-4 at HT.

Wickham came out looking much more determined in the 2nd half and were rewarded with a goal after 54 minutes, Smith hitting a low drive past Spurling. But within a minute Henley struck again, Bruce racing on to a misplaced back header, getting there just before Bolsover, the ball breaking to Tejano who finished well from six yards out to make it 1-5. Wickham piled on the pressure as Henley were reduced to ten men for a sin bin offence, Allen’s shot just beating Spurling for 2-5 after 78 minutes. But it was Watling who was to be the final scorer of the day, released through one on one, he completed his hat trick in the 85th minute to make the final score 2-6.

A terrific team performance, with everyone playing their part, Hat Trick hero Watty pulled the MOTM vote from the Ultras, but Shore, Tejano, Hammond and Cowan all ran him close. To their credit, Wickham kept going right to the end, demonstrating their commitment and drive throughout, but on the day, they were comprehensively outplayed.

All eyes are now on Tuesday’s home game against Westerfield, when we should have our full squad available.