There wasn’t much of a buzz at the Hornet’s Nest last evening, the surprising cold meaning the attendance was reduced to 43, of whom 2/3rds were travelling Henley Ultras. Appropriate really, as despite first appearances, this was a home game for Henley, with the venue switched to allow a later start under floodlights. Something we would like to thank our hosts for agreeing to, thanks also for the classy touch of an honour guard for the newly crowned champions as they entered the pitch.

Henley pressed from the off, Watling inches away from a Cole cross, whilst Hillyard, Field and Tejano also saw efforts blocked in a manic 10 second scramble in the box shortly after. Henley took the lead after 30 minutes, Field poking home at the back post from a Tejano header to make it 0-1. This was followed by Field having a bullet header bravely cleared off the line and Cole, sliding inside to lash a biting strike just over the bar.

But the game was far from just one way traffic, Spurling having to deal with a couple of long-range efforts, before a lapse of concentration in the opposition half allowed a quick free kick from Debenham to pick out Golding, who with his usual aplomb made no mistake hitting the bottom corner to make it 1-1 at HT.

Again, it was Henley on the attack after the break, and again Debenham bravely defended, getting multiple blocks in, when a goal looked certain in yet another goalmouth scramble. But nothing could stop Henley’s winner, a curling dipping freekick from Ablitt after 69 minutes to make it 1-2.

Both sides had further chances, Bell having to be at the top of his game to deny the ever-dangerous Golding space on several occasions and despite plenty of late pressure from the hosts, Henley held on for the win, in a game that became quite fractious on occasion.

Good to see the lads still so motivated after Saturday’s success, best epitomised by MOTM Cole, who spent the 1st half slithering past defenders on the wing, and after an injury to Hammond, spent the 2nd constricting any Debenham attacks at right back.