Full Match Report
First friendly played Wednesday 26th v Stratford Spartak, an exciting game of 3 x 30 minutes of play, clear to see that the lads on both sides were well ready for the season to start. 1-1 Score. Thanks to Spartak for coming to Henley, we appreciated the game.
Henley Forest Team enterered for the Hospital Cup win their initial game over Welford 6-2 at their ground on 15th August and then beating Seven Stars 1-0 (with a Penalty taken by Liam Reynolds) at home on 22 August. Further reinstating their ability/talent, go on to win the Semi finals against Fissc 3-2 (Ryan Rose, Liam Reynolds, 1 x OG) on 29 August. Final against Austin Social Select - at Stratford Town's ground is on Tuesday 24th Octrober Kick Off 7.30pm - make sure youre there cheering the Forest lads on!
APOLOGIES PLAYERS AND FANS - Unfortunately our opening game of the season against Bidford Boys on 2nd September has had to be postponed, due to the first team not have sufficient players to field their game. As soon as this is re-scheduled, I will update details.
Well done to the lads in our first game of the Season (9 Sept) against South Redditch Sports, a 2-1 win given the conditions of the pitch (Abbey Stadium) was a big achievement -The pitch at Abbey is particularly small which made the speed of the game very quick, Reynolds got the first with another super penalty take, The South then came back with an equaliser soon to be followed by the winning goal coming from Helliker.
16 Sept at home v Wellesbourne in the Nursing Cup.A fantastic performance from Henley lads, exactly how I want us to play every game – determined, focused and a winning team attitude. The 90 minute hammering of 9-1 did us proud, with class goals coming from Tommy Wale (3), Brummy Walker (2), Liam Reynolds (1), Ryan Helliker (1), new comer Inti Aburto (1) and Captain Ben Saunders (1).
23 September, at home to Cubbington Abion, the final score of 2-2 does not reflect how the teams performed - Henley should have been 4-1 up in the first half! Cubbington are a much older and aggresive side than Henley, are not as fit as Henley and certainly not as good - however we listened to them to much and had to come back from a 2-1 score, Mitch Colby securing the draw. This was a disappointing game that we will all need to learn from. Matt Sharp in the starting 11 for the first time this season suffered a dislocated Shoulder and Ryan Helliker lost his place due to a ban.
30th September were at home to Fissc Reserves although I shall not have the pleasure of watching this game - I'm off to Ibiza ............... getting hold of some new moves (ok lads, yes I will share them with you). Brum will have the team sheet and I want you players at your best! Apparently a disappointing performance from the Forest although a win 4-2 (Harper 1, Colby 1, Helliker 1 & Wale 1) the lads were certainly not at their best.
7th October away to Studley Nags Head, a very windy day and not a very nice pitch did not help, although the 2-0 win (should have been 5-0) was enough to continue gathering in the points. Goals scored by Pete Harper and Tom Wale. A vast improvement on performance of last week and some great play & tackles made – well done lads, keep it up.
14th October at home to Littleton Reserves. This was “we thought” going to be our most challenging match, however “probably the best footie played to date” brought in another 3 vital points from the 8-1 final score. Michael Walker’s (below) ability and talent is commendable, at 39 years old he still had the ability to net a hat-trick and play that key role within our side (well done Brum), other goals came from Tom Wale, Ryan Helliker, Liam Reynolds, Mitch Colby and Martin “The Scoot” Skulte (not sure if he was off side ha ha). This was a great birthday present for me lads, and even better – top of the table with a game in hand. Several of the lads travel miles to get home for our games – and I am particularly grateful to them for their time, trouble and dedication – however I am thankful to all the teams efforts, much appreciated and I am dead proud of your ever improving footie. Darryl Powers formally of Stratford Spartak made his debut performance for the Forest and we look forward to developing his role within the team. Quick thank you to the lads for the present – you know how appreciative I am – also, thanks for coming to my Party – you lot being there was very important to me – cheers lads! Gaffa.
21st October away to Ilmington Reserves, who gave us a good battle – very surprised to see that they are bottom of the table, they battled hard and played a good standard of football. It was nice to see Jamie Fitz return to the sideline (although this time unfortunately without the blue & white shirt) just a visitor. It took 30 minutes for the first of Henley’s goals to hit the back of the net, Ben Saunders tucking in a nice one, the second came shortly after as the heavens opened - regular goal-scorer Mitch Colby. Second half: (Ilmington had changed their formation) Tom Wale soon got his name on the score sheet – not once but twice, and the firth goal came from Ryan Helliker who came on the pitch well fired up to score. Although the final score was 5-1 to Henley, Ilmington certainly hit the bar a number of times and skimmed the goal post – nice play lads! This was neither our best performance nor the worst but we managed to continue to gather in the points - Henley Reserves remain at the top of the table 3 points ahead of second place.
28/10 We travelled to meet Studley Nags Head in the Nursing Cup - our previous meeting a victorious 2-0, however this time in the cup, Studley having played a different 5 men than our last meet, us with 3 key players down - we struggled to keep possession and the final score of 5-4 was EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING. Having pulled back from a 4-1 score, we just struggled to get the ball in the back of the net - chance after chance we had and we made it very hard for ourselves. We play as a team, win as a team and lose as a team - those of you that under performed need to learn from this and thats all there is to say.
11 November away to a quality side & performance from Seven Stars, Henley maintaining their league performance with a 3-1 win, goals coming from Tom Wale (Pen) , Ryan Helliker and Mike Walker. Mark Barratt made his debut appearance for the Forest and what a class performance it was, Mark joins the Forest as Goalie to further strengthen & support our solid back four of Ryan Rose, Chris Smith, Marcus Orme and Liam Fitzgerald. The game was played on pretty poor ground with an extreme hard win against us, despite this we certainly improved on our performance of 28th - solid performance from all players, particularly Mitch Wright, Ben Saunders & Marcus Orme.
18 November at home to Studley Nags Head who battled all the way through making the play of football particularly difficult, infact it took us almost 40 minutes to net the first which came from consistent goal scoring Ryan Helliker, part way through the second half I brought on recent recruit Daryl Powers who served a great ball enabling Helliker to net another. The 90 minute score of 2-0 was sufficient to keep up our League wins and remain in a great spot on the table. Mark Barret was in goal for his second Forest appearance and played faultlessly, a great asset to the club!
25 November at home - A physical & demanding game against 3rd in table Bidford Boys. A slow a disappointing start with Bidford going 1 nil up after just 7 minutes, steadily & with encouragement Forest knuckled down to regain their usual style of play and at half time the score had been brougth back in our favour to 2-1 with two great goals coming from Mid Fielder Pete Harper - Tommy Wale dummied the first to allow the ball to fall at Petes left foot and Mitch Colby cooly fed in another to assist the second. Part way through the second half and to relieve a few tiring feet (and give other lads in our large squad a run out) subs were slowly brought on, (1) Daryl Powers (Below) (2) Martin Skulte and (3) Inti Aburto. Soon after Forest secured another goal, a nice one coming from Captain Saunders............... 3-1 to Henley.
2 December 06 South Redditch Sports travelled to Henley for our second meet this season and were certainly a much better side than we met back in September with a 2-1 forest win. First half Redditch Sports were first to hit the back of the net with Forest with another catch up on their hands - shortly after Michael Walker equalised although at half time with a 1-1 score, we certainly were not playing the footie were capable of. The half time talk seemed to do the trick accompanied with the sight of all subs starting to warm, the lads notched up a gear and started to play as they can. Michael Walker getting his second goal, an absolutely superb it was too - Ryan Helliker not before too long then got the third - 90 minutes, some great footie (second half) and a 3-1 final whistle kept me smiling. Another key game, against a very good side - infact probably the best we've played against this season. Lads, keep this up - stay focused and play as you can right through to the close of season there is still a long way to go, so come on you Forest............. be very proud of yourselves, as "we are top of the league, we are top of the league" -
WELFORD CALLED OFF THE GAME ON 9TH DECEMBER, DUE TO A WATER LOGGED PITCH!
16th December we travelled to Inkberrow to play the reserves in the 1st round of the Rm Smith Cup, on a "marginally" acceptable pitch condition. Inkberrow started well and looked the better team than their league position suggests, however through playing football the Forest lads took total control and from 15 minutes in dominated the play totally! In the absence of Michael Walker, Darryl Powers (Shaggy) (chomping at the bit for weeks) was handed his starting debut, Martin Skulte also entered the starting line up for the first time this season gave a faultless performance. Ryan Helliker kicked off the goals midway through the first half with a further 9 flowing throughout the rest of the match shared by Liam Reynolds (2) a class pin point free kick, Pete Harper (2) trying to replicate his "hat-trick" earned at the same ground last season, Ryan Helliker rounded off a solid performance with a hat-trick, un-selfish Daryl Powers was rewarded with his first goal for the club, much to the delight of his team-mates, Steve Gerrard watch out cos Ryan Rose can smash the ball into the back of the net and that he did with a corking goal coming from 20-25yd bullet, Mitch Colby's goal actually bust the woodwork and could have doubled his score so easily, but we won't talk about that one. A final score of 10-0 reflects the solid performance of the back 5. Great football lads - who are now well up for the next round!
23rd December last game of 2006 and we wanted to keep our sheet clean and maintain that number one position in the table - however, Ilmington arrived at Henley with a totally different side than we met at their ground earlier in the Season. Very slow and frustrating to get going, Ilmington resisted and battled well and it could easily have been 2-1 at half time to them, although Henley surprisingly hit 45 minutes with a 1-0 goal coming from Liam Reynolds. The rather disappointed voice of the Manager at half time seemed to do the trick and the lads hit the pitch second half with a totally fresh attitude - played much better football and settled into what they do best - just play the game. Henley managed a further 4 goals, Liam Reynolds clinching his hat-trick, last years left back, this years left mid Pete Harper got his name on another and nice to see considerate and most unselfish playing Darryl Powers aka Shaggy get his name on the score sheet for a consecutive week. 5-1 to Henley.
6th January 2007 and our first game of the new year, an away fixture v Badsey Rangers in the first round of the Division Two Cup. A particular wet day and a pretty soggy pitch (MUCH soggier once we'd finished playing!). Things got off to a bad start with Badsey clinching the first goal, the Forest lads once again needed to settle into the play and pleased to say not soon after Badsey getting the first, Ryan Helliker got our number one, deriving from a great pass from Shaggy. It was anticipated that this was going to be a challenging game for us, the first time we had met Badsey Rangers and a decent side they are too. A pitch that was very wet & slippy, opponents that were both aggressive and determined - a final score of 5-2 to Henley certainly kicks our new year off to a great start. The 5 Henley Goal Scorers were, Whiz kid Ryan Helliker, 90 minute sprinter Liam Reynolds (Pen), 3 in 3 Daryl Powers, frequent goal scoring Tom Wale and Mitch Colby notches up another to add to his decent strike rate. The entire team played extremely well however my man of the match goes to Martin Skulte (not because of the black eye coming from the "controversial" elbow in the head) but because he is playing some great football and I am pleased he has earned his place in the starting squad - keep it up kid. Well done lads, lets give this cup a good run now.....
27th January 2007 - After a non playing period of three weeks due to poor weather and pitch conditions, we were pleased to get the boots back on and start kicking the ball. However, a very disappointing start and the break clearly affected the lads. It was shortly before the half time whistle before we managed to secure our first goal, a tremendous strike by Ryan Helliker sends the ball flying in the back of the net. Second half another two goals again from Ryan Helliker (good game Raz) getting his hat-trick (one controversially being claimed by Ben Saunders - ummmm). Final Score 3-0. Chris Smith back in the squad from the off (due to Scoots Ham String injury) did himself proud and played an impressive game, matched as usual by team-mate and consistent performing Liam Reynolds. Newly signed Marc Unitt got his first appearance for the Forest, and demonstrated he has great potential.
3 February we continued our path in the RM Smith Cup visiting Fissc 1st team. Throughout the entire 90 minutes the Forest lads pretty much dominated play and certainly gave Fissc from the League above a run for their money. Although Mark Barratt our class goalkeeper once again made it look easy in between his woodwork, with a couple of superb saves. The opening goal of the game came from our top scorer Ryan Helliker in the first half, this time playing left mid. Second half Liam Reynolds got into a great position and fired in a terrific goal, in between a number of extremely near misses Fissc hit in an Own Goal, although it was pretty inevitable due to Mitch Colby and Ryan Rose putting Fissc under pressure. This was another important game for the Reserves and to win 3 – 0 topped off a great day. We are having an absolutely superb run in the league and great potential coming through a number of cups.
8 League games left, lads you are in a great position - keep playing the great football and lets build on the points. Next game – 10/2/07 - Badsey at home