With the competition of the Old Farm Derby only 52 gathered to see Henley overcome a talented Tattingstone 0-2, a goal early in each half doing the damage.
Henley weathered the expected early pressure from the home side, before asserting themselves in midfield. On 9 minutes Cowan took advantage of some dithering, robbing the ball in the Tattingstone half, before playing it into the stride of Van Oene, who continued his run and picked his spot past Hender for 0-1. Tattingstone were undeterred however and kept trying to find a way through, with some stylish play, but every wave of attack crashed on the rocks of Storey and Bell in the Henley defence. After 15 minutes Henley were forced into a change, Shore catching a ball directly in the eye from close range and being replaced by Bull (After a visit to A&E Shore is home with medication, but will sadly miss a few weeks, we all wish him a speedy recovery)
On 22 minutes Henley were denied a clear penalty, Tejano felled as he raced through on goal, to compound Henley’s frustration, in addition to refusing the award, Mr Bradshaw also saw fit to sin bin George Ablitt for his protests. But, Henley reorganised, and comfortably held Tattingstone at bay during a lengthy 10 minutes with 10 men, the score remaining 0-1 at HT.
A very sharp start for Henley after the break with Cole making it 0-2 after 51 minutes, and what a goal it was!. George Ablitt picking out his run with a terrific diagonal ball, Cole outpaced his marker down the right and simply smashed the ball home with a bullet of a finish. Henley continued to press but Tattingstone were well in the game, playing some good passing football they created chances too. None more so than in the 73rd minute, Spurling making a point blank save at his near post, then from the subsequent corner, somehow managing to block a rocket of a shot from only 2 yards out, a breathtaking save that saw him take the Ultra’s MOTM vote post match.
In truth, Henley should have extended their lead in the last 15 minutes, Bruce, George Ablitt, Watling and Deb all either taking too long to get their shots away or firing straight at Hender. But against a very good, committed and well organised Tattingstone, we were happy with a 0-2 victory and all 3 points, when the whistle blew on a 55 minute 2nd half.
Although the Ultra’s MOTM deservedly went to Spurling, he was run close in the voting by a dynamic display from Cowan and an outstanding performance from our defensive partnership of Storey and Bell.