Saturday 23rd November - AFC Henley Hotspur V Finchampstead Rovers
With a vast amount of rain during the week, Henley’s pitch is not fit to be played on, so the Rovers find themselves with a home advantage for this ‘away’ fixture.
Saturday morning brings more rain, but on the positive side there are sausage rolls courtesy of Pam!
Finchampstead start well. Good work from George sees Nathaniel with an early chance. The keeper does well, a bit of a scrambled rebound but the ball ends up back in Henley’s possession. A great through ball from Adam sees Nathaniel on target, but again, the keeper saves. A string of good passes sees the Rovers midfield and defence working well together. Lucas C getting the ball up to Nathaniel who once again sees his shot saved. Great pressure from the Rovers, with some lovely passing from the back, but the Henley goalie is keeping them in the game. 5 shots to none so far!
Henley manage to get possession and take a shot, but it’s an easy save by Luke. The pressure from Finch lessens, seeing Henley back in the Finch half. Luke comes out to the edge of his area to collect the ball, but a Henley player gets there first and squares it to the winger, but Luke is back in position to save!
And it’s back down the other end. Good work from midfield, Adam passes to Nathaniel but just a little too far and Henley find themselves on a counter attack, with their striker through on goal. Sensationally cleared off the line by Sam T, who is working hard in defence.
Henley find themselves with a free kick on the edge of the area which is saved by Luke and in full Sunday league fashion, somehow finds its way to Adam, then is played into the Henley half but subsequently lost in midfield, only to be collected again, sent to Nathaniel who takes it expertly around the keeper and scores! 1-0 Finch!
The Rovers get the ball from kick off and Nathaniel finds himself 1 on 1 again with the Henley goalie. In what feels like slow motion, Nathaniel shoots, but the ball is cleared by a Henley defender. Some great battling by George and super skills by Leo, but a throw in for Henley leads to a shot from their striker, which goes so wide there is no need for Luke to move!
Sam F goes off for Bunny. A few minutes later Leo makes way for Jake Ma. Will fresh legs lift the Rovers with 15 minutes left to play in the first half?
Henley’s defence are playing well, with their keeper blocking another shot from Nathaniel, which goes off for a corner. Bunny passes out to Jake, but his shot dribbles to keeper. Nathaniel goes off injured, which see’s Alfie coming on, followed by James on for George. The Rovers defence still working hard, but the ball is kept by Henley, who seem certain to score, but safe hands Luke saves again!
The Goal kick is picked up by Henley, but good work by Ollie and Lucas S sees the ball moved away from danger. Adam and Bunny link up well to get the ball into the Finch half. A throw in from Josh, is ultimately picked up by Alfie whose shot narrowly misses, seeing the first half end 1-0.
A mixed start to the second half.
Bunny plays ball to Jake Ma who shoots but, as is the theme of this game, the keeper saves. Good composure from Finch, but Henley midfield travel and play a lovely ball to their striker who pulls Luke off his line, and puts the ball in the back of the net. 1-1. A well-deserved goal.
The Rovers play some nice passing football. From defence, the ball is played up to Jake Ma who strikes it beautifully, but the Henley keeper stays solid and saves.
A lack of composure from the Finch defence sees a Henley shot wide. Henley have really upped their game this half leading to a busy period for Luke!
Composure resumed and good football from Finch leads to some panic defending by Henley. Good work from Nathaniel and Lucas S leads to a chance, but it’s just wide of the post. Sam T plays a great ball up field, which is subsequently picked up by Nathaniel, but to no avail. Great corner from Sam F (who is back on!) leads to another saved Rovers shot.
With 20 minutes left to go, this is turning into a ping pong game! A free kick for Henley, the crowd are nervous, but the safe hands of Luke scoop it up. Nice work from the Rovers midfield sees Nathaniel in with another chance, but their keeper is just too good! Back up the other end, another super save by Luke. This really is a battle of the keepers!
A Henley corner leads to scrappy defending and Adam clearing the ball off the line! Henley are pressing hard and Finch seem to have lost the ability to string more than one pass together, much to the frustration of the Finch coaches!
With 5 mins to go, will either team be victorious or will they share the points?
A last ditch effert from Finch. Nathaniel has the ball in the area, but as he goes to strike, there is a collision and he goes down. Surely a penalty from the supporters angle, but the referee calls ‘fair challenge’ and the game goes on.
Henley make a last effort with 2 mins to go, but to no avail. The game finishes 1-1.
Disappointing result for Finch who should have won it in the first half, but a point is better than none.
Onwards to Shinfield next week!