With so many other local games on, it was a pleasure to see a decent sized crowd of 77 at the Community Centre for this early evening fixture against Westerfield Utd.

A little bit of an unusual game to watch, in that Henley played with a very relaxed tempo, patiently taking their time to unpick a determined, proud and fully committed Westerfield defence.

Henley dominated possession throughout the 90 minutes and had already created 2-3 chances before taking the lead after 11 minutes. A Liam Ablitt corner headed back across goal by Bell, acrobatically bicycle kicked home from 6 yards by Watling to make it 1-0. Henley continued to press, whilst the visitors were restricted to only getting forward on the break, where they were efficiently denied progress by the home defence, indeed Westerfield’s only effort of note in the 1st half was a header wide from Allum, after he got on the end of a well struck free kick by Howell.

Henley increased their lead after 28 minutes, with a flowing move from front to back, Spurling threw out to Bell, he found Shore who played in George Ablitt, who spun and fired into the top corner from just outside the box for 2-0.

The 2nd half began as the 1st ended, a thoughtful Henley passing the ball around looking to find a path through the massed ranks of a very well organised Westerfield defence. The chances did come though, both Ablitt brothers seeing efforts bravely blocked or narrowly wide, Bell hitting the post and Burn saving well from Cowan and Bruce. Bruce looked to have scored a legitimate goal, but saw it chalked off for what could have only been the tightest of offside flags. At the other end, Westerfield did manage the occasional foray forward but failed to call Spurling into shot stopping action.

It wasn’t until the 75th minute that Henley found a way through the resolute Westerfield defence, Storey strolling out from the back in possession, exchanging a one-two with Cowan, then continuing his run to stroke the ball home for 3-0. The pressure continued, Bruce making the goal frame shake with a thunderous drive which came back off the post and then curling one just wide, Bull, Bradlaugh, Hammond and both Ablitt’s again came close, but Westerfield saw the game out well and the score remained 3-0.

Another good, considered and thoughtful team performance from Henley, Liam Ablitt winning the Ultra’s MOTM vote, brother George, Shore, Storey, Cowan and Bradlaugh also garnering support for their efforts.

Plenty of praise for Westerfield too, they pulled a side together that competed for every ball, threw themselves into blocks and challenges and never once looked like quitting under pressure. If the continue to show that level of togetherness, commitment and workrate, they’ll find their way up the table.