A bumper crowd of 121, doubtless swollen by postponements elsewhere, saw a depleted Henley side defeat an impressive-looking Cops 2-0.

The aftermath of last week’s cup heroics took its toll on the Henley line up, with 2 suspensions and a string of injuries, Henley only had 12 of the 1st team squad available and were grateful that the Ressies were without a fixture, enabling debut call ups to both Brad Vince and Harry Leeks.

Henley started brightly, bringing a brace of good saves from young Cops keeper Tucker early on, first denying Bruce at his near post, then blocking a drive from Van Oene, Watling got to the rebound first but could only put it over the bar. At the other end, Godbold managed to break clear, Spurling having to be alert to push his low effort around the post.

Henley continued to have the majority of the pressure, but it wasn’t until the 43rd minute that they took the lead, at the beginning of a crazy 90 seconds that ultimately settled the result. Cole’s low shot cum cross taking a weekend deflection off Cop’s defender Fulker, ballooning the ball over the helpless Tucker for 1-0. Almost immediately from the restart, pressure from Cowan saw the ball back at the feet of Tucker, his sliced clearance falling to Cole who gratefully smashed it home for 2-0 on 44 minutes.

Cops had a lot of second half possession, but all their efforts came to naught as Henley’s all action midfield prevented the ball getting through to the always dangerous Godbold and Linard, on the occasions when they did get the ball, Storey, Bell, Hammond and Bull combined in defence to make sure that Spurling went largely untroubled. At the other end, young custodian Tucker was the Cops hero, denying Bruce twice, Cole and probably most impressively, diving low to his right to tip a Van Oene free kick around the post. He also did well to race out, stopping Vince from getting a strike on goal in his debut off the bench.

Although it was Cole’s goals that drew the Ultra’s MOTM vote, as I never tire of repeating, it was the midfield of Cowan, Tejano and Van Oene that ran the game, and an excellent performance from our defence that sealed the win. Cops look much stronger than last year, and let’s face it, after playing them 4! Times last season, we’re in a good position to judge, young keeper Tucker in particular looking a real find and definitely their MOTM.