‘Henley are a big scalp in SIL’, says joint-boss Sean Brown

Henley's Danny George and Cranes' Ross Rands jump for a high ball

Henley's Danny George and Cranes' Ross Rands jump for a high ball - Credit: Gregg Brown

Joint-manager Sean Brown says every team is gunning for Henley Athletic after watching his newly-promoted side win 3-1 at champions Crane Sports yesterday, to move to the top of the SIL Senior Division.

First-half strikes from Byron Tejano and Clark Bruce and a last-gasp clincher from Liam Bevis saw Henley climb above their hosts, who halved the deficit just before the interval, courtesy of James Blades.

Cranes, managed by Iain Radnor, slipped to third after Achilles’ 15-2 home win over Ransomes Sports, and Brown says his side are a big target for their rivals.

“It been a bit like that (teams wanting to beat Henley) since we have been here (Senior Division) – a few people have joined us and the rumours fly around and it’s difficult,” said Brown, fielding talent such as Chris Williams – who up to last month was scoring goals for Felixstowe & Walton in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division – in his team.

“Some of the players have played a lot higher and everyone is going to want to beat you but it’s been like that for the last few months to be fair – even more so now.

“But we are sitting at the top of the tree in the club’s 25th year, we have had a hell of a year, getting to the Senior Division and the Junior Cup final.”

Henley were far the better team in the first half and capitalised on a sluggish Cranes side that struggled to get going.

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The hosts’ goal on the stroke of half-time changed the complexion of the game, however, and while Henley could have made the result more emphatic late on, Blades missed two good opportunities to level things up with Henley on the ropes.

“Having beat Achilles last game we knew it was going to be tough,” Brown explained.

“But we believed in ourselves and I would like to think we did Henley proud.

“It was a very one-sided second half but first half we were excellent. It was nervy second half and we did miss chances, but I don’t think that would have been a fair reflection as it was a game of two halves – luckily we took our opportunities when they came and that was the difference.

He added: “Cranes will be hurting and (Rads) Iain Radnor has said we are only halfway. He has been there and done it so we have got to keep everyone’s feet on the ground.

“We can go for it though, we won’t hide away from that – there is a long way to go – but we will enjoy today.”

Match report - Page 44

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