Some matches are destined to live long in the memory, and this one with be permanently etched into the hippocampus of every Henley player who took part, and all of the assembled Ultras who were fortunate enough to witness it. An error strewn opening 30 minutes saw the visitors 3-0 down, but they bravely fought back against higher league opposition to record an astonishing 3-4 victory.

Both teams started on the front foot in what initially appeared an even contest, but it was Cornard who took the lead after only 10 minutes, Seal poking home from a corner, after Henley failed to clear their lines for 1-0. Henley were undeterred though, George Ablitt cutting in from the left and hitting the post after 18 minutes. Less than a minute later George Ablitt appeared to have been tripped in the box, but the appeals were waved away, indeed at the next break in play, Mr Copsey perhaps rather harshly producing a yellow card for simulation. Things went from bad to worse for Henley when on 25 minutes a miscommunication at the back saw Storey head a harmless cross past Spurling into his own net to make it 2-0.

Fortune continued to favour the Thurlow Nunn side when on 30 minutes, Hammond left a leg dangling and Walsh gratefully took the opportunity to go over it, this time the penalty was awarded and Arnold neatly tucked it home for a 3-0 lead. Henley spirits were lifted on 39 minutes, a great through ball from Hammond saw George Ablitt beat the offside trap to run through and calmly finish for 3-1 at HT.

Spurling did well on 48 minutes to save a driven effort from Walsh, but it was Henley who were pushing hardest as the 2nd half progressed. Their efforts rewarded after 55 minutes, Liam Ablitt’s corner cleared out to Bruce, he neatly returned the ball to Liam, who’s cross picked out Cole on the opposite side of the box, Cole took a touch to steady himself and utterly smashed the ball home, just inside the post for 3-2.

Cornard were unbowed, and after 58 minutes came close as Luke Spurling weaved in and hit the top of the bar from distance. A minute later Henley were reduced to ten men, George Ablitt receiving a 2nd yellow, having been correctly adjudged to have delayed the restart. If anything, this inspired the remaining 10 men of Henley onto even greater efforts, on 68 minutes some great passing football saw Liam Ablitt exchange passes with Cowan, who burst through one on one, but keeper Stevens did well to get a hand to it, to deny the equaliser.

But not for long, as after 75 minutes those two players combined again, a ball over the top, straight down the middle from Cowan, saw Liam Ablitt race through, keeper Stevens got there first but mishit his clearance which cannoned off his own defender, Ablitt was the quickest to react, calmly taking time to pick his spot, putting the ball between the covering defenders into the unguarded net from 20 yards to make it 3-3. Raising the volume levels among the Henley Ultras and silencing the previously vociferous home announcer.

Despite having a man advantage, Cornard were visibly shaken by this comeback, whilst Henley were flying now. On 77 minutes Henley came close to taking the lead, a great cross from Bruce was well met by Watling, but at full speed he couldn’t keep his effort down and the ball went over the bar. The winner finally came after 83 minutes, solid hold up play from Watling saw him play a pinpoint cross field ball to pick out Bruce, out on the wide right. Bruce cut inside leaving his marker behind, into the box he shaped to shoot sitting the first centre half down, continuing his run he again feigned a strike, the second centre half also taking a seat, allowing him to simply pass the ball, past the now isolated keeper into the bottom corner. A goal of real class making it 3-4 sending the travelling Ultras into raptures and sealing the most unlikely of comebacks as Henley progress to the quarter finals.

Phew, what a game! A terrific, all round team performance with all 14 players involved more than playing their part, once again Cowan was at the heart of it, omnipresent in midfield, Bruce came off the bench and instantly made a difference, his play and of course his goal, again proving the old adage that form is temporary, but class is permanent. However the Ultra’s MOTM award went to Aaron Bull, who was exceptional, not allowing his opponent past him, even once, and looking to get forward at every opportunity. This side, however is astonishing, their drive, commitment and refusal to submit is almost beyond belief, backed up by the ever-faithful Ultras, who were the 12th man today, still cheering them on and believing, even at 3-0 down, thanks to all that attended.

A word too for our hosts, who gave us an excellent welcome, Cornard has great facilities and a very good young side, who although stunned by the defeat, I’m sure will continue to do well in the league.