Once again, changes were forced on Henley, but they battled hard to secure a 0-1 victory against a much-improved Saints, who were clearly eager to atone for their recent drubbing at the Community Centre.

Storey and Shore were joined on the injury list by Cowan, Watling was unavailable and travel issues meant that Tejano was only available from the bench. So it was an unusual looking Henley formation that took the field, but it did give young striker Hillyard his first start.

Henley had the better of the early chances, but Saints dug in well and defended bravely, whilst still posing a threat going forward. Hillyard came close a couple of times, firing narrowly over the bar, but the first real chance came after 30 minutes when Field’s header hit the bar, Hillyard looked to stroke home the rebound, but was denied by a terrific point blank save from Clouting.  Shortly after Henley’s injury woes were exacerbated as White was forced to leave the field of play with a nasty head injury after an accidental clash. He was taken to hospital where he required stitches in his forehead, I’m pleased to report that he’s on the mend. On the stroke of half-time a wicked corner from Ablitt was pushed onto the bar by Clouting. But the score remained 0-0 at HT.

Henley pushed hard from the restart and were rewarded after 50 minutes when Bell headed home at the back post from a Bruce corner to make it 0-1. Henley continued to have the majority of the possession, but Saints always posed a threat, with Spurling called into action to make a fine save after 65 minutes to maintain the Henley lead.

Hillyard was denied again with a low save from Clouting, who also managed to tip over efforts from Field, Ablitt and Van Oene, as Henley held onto their lead to take home the points.

An amazing contrast to the game three weeks ago where we beat Saints 7-0, clearly stung by that result, their commitment, organisation and sheer will, was a credit to their manager and club in this game.

With so many changes, Henley found it hard to find their flow, but Hillyard looked a threat throughout on his first start, Field is finding his way back to his best and MOTM Ablitt was unplayable at times. Defensively, once again Smythe is rolling back the years beside Bell, with White having a great game before having to go off.

Hopefully the two week break before our next match, will give some time for recovery and reduce our injury list.