It was Henley that coped best in a battle between two understrength sides, Bildeston down to the bare 11. Henley were missing 3 usual starters through a mix of injury and holidays, but were able to call up ever reliable squad members Smythe and Driver and bring young Weaver in from our Ressies.

A crowd of 39 saw Henley start slowly, struggling to adapt to the grass clippings strewn surface, Spurling was forced in to two early stops, but was unable to prevent Alexander giving Bildeston the 1-0 lead their attacking play fully deserved after only 5 minutes.

This seemed to be the wake up call Henley needed and they immediately went on the front foot, Watling denied by a, quick off his line Lara-Bell and Bruce firing over. Watling saw an effort from distance tipped over after 20 minutes, but on 25 minutes Henley were level. Bruce released down the left by Van Oene, he twisted and turned, teasing the defence, his initial effort was blocked but Liam Ablitt was on hand to smash the ball into the roof of the net for 1-1.

On 30 minutes Henley took the lead, a free kick close to the half way line, passed between Bradlaugh, Cowan, Tejano, Van Oene and Bruce before finding Liam Ablitt who picked his spot from the edge of the box for 1-2. Almost immediately another passing move saw Bruce have his shot well saved by Lara-Bell. But on 38 minutes it was 1-3, Liam Ablitt picking out Watling who finished well from 18 yards. Two minutes later Bruce was denied again, his vicious left foot drive leaving the post shaking, the same post took a battering just before the break, this time keeping out Hammond’s bullet header, Watling’s follow up was bravely cleared off the line, leaving the score 1-3 at HT.

Henley pressure continued. Bildeston MOTM Keeper Lara-Bell, denying Bruce twice before Henley increased their lead on 63 minutes. Watling bullying and out muscling the defender to get on the end of a long ball and lift it over Lara-bell for 1-4. Henley kept pushing, but continued heroics from Lara-Bell kept the score down. The majority of Bildeston forays forward were quickly snuffed out by an imperious MOTM performance from Bell, when an effort did get through Van Oene was on hand to block on the goal line to maintain the visitors lead and seal a 1-4 victory.

A tough game on a challenging surface against a committed and determined side, enabled by some terrific performances, Bull drew praise throughout the game, especially playing out of position, Watty can’t stop scoring and Liam Ablitt was exceptional. Van Oene, Bradlaugh, Tejano and Cowan controlled the middle of the park and showed their class with every touch. How Bruce didn’t get on the scoresheet is a mystery, Lara-Bell getting to everything he hit, even when he didn’t, the woodwork came to the rescue. But it was a defensive masterclass from Bell that saw him garner the majority of Ultra’s votes to earn the MOTM award. A good result for the club even with players missing, it was good to see young Ressies prospect Weaver coming off the bench for a 20 minute 1stteam debut too.