Henley Athletic upset by Bramford United to put brakes on SIL title charge

PUBLISHED: 16:52 30 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:52 30 April 2017

Henley, in red, go close. Pictures: SEANNA HUGHES

Henley, in red, go close. Pictures: SEANNA HUGHES

SIL Senior Division

Henley Athletic 1

Bramford United 2

Henley Athletic needed three points to create some history in their first season in Senior Football and win the Suffolk & Ipswich League title having been promoted from the First Division last season.

Ben Taylor and Ben Goodchild battle for the ball Ben Taylor and Ben Goodchild battle for the ball

But Bramford United, whom they defeated 2–1 earlier in the season, proved to be party-poopers in front of 159 spectators with a well merited win that leaves Athletic needing a win over last season’s champions Cranes Sports next Saturday to lift the trophy.

Fourth-placed Bramford were highly motivated from the first whistle and the home side were given a rude awakening from which they never fully recovered.

The visitors denied space to the hosts and negated the threat from Henley’s leading scorer Clark Bruce who rarely looked likely to add to this season’s 38 goal haul.

Indeed there was so much anxiety from the home side that they lacked any fluency and failed to create sufficient chances.

Clarke Bruce on the ball for Henley Clarke Bruce on the ball for Henley

The first opportunity saw Clark Bruce’s square ball to Ben Taylor totally wasted, shooting well wide, whilst at the other end Daryl Alexander tested Kevin Holland with a fierce angled effort.

Bramford went ahead in the 24th minute. Trevor Vinyard floated a ball inside the box enabling Dale Munson to turn and hook the ball beyond the keeper.

The visitors were playing with greater intensity and Dave Shore produced a penetrating run but ultimately wasted a good chance to make it two.

Henley improved after the break and drew level on 49 minutes when keeper Algar failed to hold a Liam Bevis cross and in the ensuing scramble skipper Mark Storey poked home from two yards.

Danny George then threaded a decent ball through to Bruce but he fired the half-chance wide.

Bramford wrapped the points up in the 63rd minute. There appeared no danger when Munson took control of the ball some 22 yards out, but with sublime accuracy he volleyed over the stranded Holland.

Henley produced a finale that saw a Storey effort cleared off the line and both Bevis and Storey strike the woodwork whilst at the other end Ben Goodchild headed narrowly over.

But Henley now have to regroup for next Saturday’s visit of Cranes if they are to claim the title.

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