With mid season injuries starting to take their toll coach Neil Badley had to adjust the side to introduce a new spine. David joined Ian in central defence and Graham, Ben and Monty shared responsibilities in the centre of midfield. Henley looked dangerous from the start and won a short corner within the first minute. Having avoided conceeding early the Terriers battled back and were rewarded with a goal from Austin 10 minutes into the game, reacting to a deflection of the keeper’s pads after some good build up from Robbie and Monty.
Henley came back strongly and started to control the game. Their interpassing pulled the Terriers out of shape and a couple of goals were conceded which was no more than the opposition deserved. The Terriers had their moments too in both defence and attack but it was prooving to be a difficult afternoon.
At half time Neil reitterated the tactics the team needed to employ against such a well organised Henley side. The shape was better in the second half and the defence kept Henley at bay, brining out some great tackles and some great saves from Marcus as well as riding their luck from time to time as the ball fizzed across the South Berkshire goal.
South Berkshire pressed down the flanks with the midfield battling hard to try and breakdown Henley. As older legs began to tire Gregor, Louis, Alexander and Jack began to turn the advantage the Terriers way. The equliser when it came was created by James who threaded a straight ball through to Austin who showed great skill and composure to take the ball round the keeper to score. It was a great goal but the best was yet to come.
With 5 minutes to go and after a sustained bout of opposition pressure, Ian produced a trade mark long ball out of defence to Robbie just inside the opposition half. He held the ball up and slipped a square pass to Monty and the ball moved quickly through the centre midfield to James who found himself just inside the D with three defenders around him. He had the presence of mind to move the ball back out of the D to Robbie as Monty broke in from the right, having recieved the pass and with the goalkeeper coming out at him, Monty answered a cry from James who had freed himself from his markers. It was a great decision from Monty to make the square pass to James rather than shoot and James calmly swept in the goal.
Somewhat delflated now, Henley continued to press for an equaliser but the Terriers defence stood strong and saw out the victory. A great second half display. There were several noteable performances but special mention goes to two of the youngest players on the pitch: Henley’s no 10 and to Monty, both showed skill, intelligence and composure well beyond their years.
Thanks to Jack and Rob for umpiring so well and hard luck Henley you probably deserved more. What a goal though....