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32nd Meeting Since 1904 - 11 October

On Saturday Henley Town are hosts to Bicester Town in Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League.

Rivalry between the two clubs dates back far more than a century. In 1903-04 Henley were beaten 2-1 at home by the Foxhunters in the semi-finals of the Oxfordshire Charity Cup, but a year later the Town were revenged by beating Bicester 3-1 in the final of the same competition.

Overall, the sides have proved well matched, though both have had longish runs of wins in different eras. In all, they have met 31 times, with Henley chalking up 13 wins compared to Bicester’s 15.

At the end of the 2011-12 season, Bicester went into hibernation as a result of a dispute with their landlords, but they re-emerged five years later and were admitted back into the Hellenic League. They finished second in Division 1 East, gaining four points from their two games with Henley, but, despite the Town finishing one place lower, it was they who were promoted, as Bicester, playing at Ardley, chose not to go up until they could find a new ground in the town itself.

Bicester finished fifth last season and look likely to improve on that in the current term. As a result of Tuesday night’s matches, Bicester moved to the top of the table and Henley to the bottom. All in all, while Henley badly need to improve their league position, they will do well to get any reward from this match.

 

bluefin insurersThird Meeting In Twelve Days - 4 October

Henley Town oppose AFC Aldermaston on Saturday for the third time in 12 days. This time the match is in the first round of the Bluefin Sport Hellenic Challenge Cup, and the kick-off time is 3 p.m.

The frequency of these meetings might have been a dreadful bore but for the fact that the first two games have been so even that tomorrow’s outcome remains unpredictable. Henley won the first match at home, but only by means of a penalty shootout; then in last Saturday’s game at Aldermaston, the home side scored early on, but the subsequent exchanges were so even that neither team could score again.

The Town may feel that their chances are increased by this game being a cup fixture. So far, this season has mirrored last in that Henley’s mainly poor league form has been made amends for in part with some better results in various cup competitions, in which three out of their four games have been won.

As a result of their victories in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup and Hellenic Floodlit Cup, the Town have been dubiously rewarded with two second-round ties that look far from easy, away to Ardley United and Oxford City Nomads respectively. The draw for the first round of the Reading Invitation Senior Cup has also been announced, with Henley again away, this time at Wokingham and Emmbrook.

 

Henley Visit Aldermaston - 27 September

On Saturday Henley travel to AFC Aldermaston in Division 1 East contest, only four days after playing them in a cup-tie at home, which the Town won on a penalty shoot-out. A week later the sides will clash yet again, this time at Henley in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup.

On Tuesday there will be a local derby at the Invesco Perpetual Triangle when Wallingford Town are the visitors for a 7.45 p.m. kick-off. The history of football clubs in Wallingford is complex, with clubs dissolving and being refounded, amalgamating and changing their names. The present club came about when Wallingford Town and Wallingford United merged in 1995 under the name of A.F.C. Wallingford, reverting to the Wallingford Town name in 2013. But rivalry on the football field between Henley and their neighbours dates back 140 years, when the competing sides were known simply by the names of their towns with no further designations added.

In that 1877-78 season, Henley won 5-0 at home but lost the return match 2-0. The most recent meeting was a friendly at Wallingford seven years ago, which ended in a 4-2 win for the visitors. The last competitive encounter came in 2007-08, when the Town won 2-0 at the Triangle in the Hellenic League Challenge Cup. The history of both clubs has been full of ups and downs. After playing in the Hellenic, Combined Counties and Chiltonian leagues, Wallingford fell back into the North Berks League in 2008-09. Finishing third last season, they were promoted back into the Hellenic. Their early league results could not have been more even, for they have won two, drawn two and lost two of these games.

Having already obtained the return of Liridon Daka from Burnham, the Red Kites last week brought in Luke Blakeborough on a transfer from Woodley United.

 

No Red Kites Game Saturday - 6 September

Henley Town have no match on Saturday, but on Tuesday they travel to Holyport in Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

This not only continues a long run of away matches for Henley but is the first of a spate of evening games scheduled for the next few weeks.

The magnitude of last week’s defeat by Virginia Water can hardly have helped the side’s morale, their only slight consolation being that, as Virginia Water are now top of the table with a 100 per cent. record, they are unlikely to meet sides of such ability too often. Pending the arrival of any possible new players, Jock Mowatt’s main task will be the tricky one of trying to lift the confidence of his men.

Holyport have had a mixed season to date. They lost all their first three fixtures but have followed this by beating Chalfont Wasps 8-1 at home and Thame Rangers 4-3 away – a result that almost mirrors Henley’s 2-1 victory at the ASM Stadium a week earlier. The sides first met in a friendly at Summerleaze Village in the 2005-06 season, the Villagers winning 2-1. The first competitive game followed a year later, and there have been 15 league encounters between the sides in all, mostly in Division 1 East, though both sides were in the Hellenic Premier Division in 2011-12. The Town have won six of these meetings, compared with Holyport’s four, with four games drawn and another abandoned. The most recent clashes came two seasons ago, when, following a 2-2 draw at the Invesco Perpetual Triangle, the Red Kites won the return match 3-1, Richard Bennett taking the field on the hour mark to score the two decisive goals.

 

Fresh Water - 30 August

Henley Town travel to meet Virginia Water on Saturday, in the first ever fixture between the clubs.

The match is in Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League, in which the Town, who were bottom of the table after both their first and second matches, shot up from 14th place to eighth as a result of their dramatic late winner at the ASM Stadium last weekend.

Although Henley will often meet more dangerous opposition than Thame Rangers during the season, a victory for a team who have started their campaign badly can be vital, not only raising the spirits of the side concerned but also having a depressive effect on players at the teams below them.

Having said that, Henley’s opponents tomorrow should be feeling cock-a-hoop at present, having won all their first three matches after moving into the Hellenic League. Last weekend, they won 3-1 away to Didcot Reserves, who had won both their opening fixtures. Virginia Water have had two spells in the Combined Counties League in the past, but, having won the Surrey Elite Intermediate League last season, have now transferred into the Hellenic branch of the Pyramid.

 

Into The Unknown - 23 August

There are two sides new to football in the Uhlsport Hellenic League playing in Division 1 East this season, and Henley Town have never met either of them before at any level. Coincidentally, they now oppose Thame Rangers and Virginia Water on successive Saturdays. Henley also embark on a run of four successive away games.

Up to last weekend, Saturday’s game at Thame (kick-off 3 p.m.) had looked like being a particularly challenging one. As a new club, Rangers won the Senior Division of the Wycombe and District League two years ago, moving into Division 2 of the Spartan South Midlands League, which they also won at their first attempt. This season they have crossed into the Uhlsport Hellenic League.

Their opening game was a local derby at Chinnor, which was drawn 1-1, but last Saturday Thame lost 7-0 away to Didcot Town Reserves, a result which would seem to give the Red Kites some chance of gaining a point or three notwithstanding their own miserable start to the season.

Rangers are part of the Thame Football Partnership and use the ASM Stadium for their home fixtures. A large proportion, too, of their young side were playing for Thame United’s development team last season.


Long Time No See - 15 August

Henley Town have their first home fixture in Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League on Saturday against Sandhurst Town, the last time they met in league competition was 28 years ago.

Although they first met in the 1924-25 season, in matches where both clubs fielded their first teams, there have been only 13 games in all. Sandhurst have won eight of these compared to Henley’s four, with one match drawn.

The last two encounters between the sides have been in pre-season friendlies, most recently in the season before last, when the Fizzers, with ground advantage, won 2-1. In competitive matches, the clubs’ paths have not crossed since 1989-90, in the days of the Chiltonian League.

Last season Sandhurst finished eighth, but they have been one of the teams backed by some amateur pundits to do well in the new campaign. Though unquestionably doing better than Henley last weekend, the Berkshire club, in view of these optimistic comments, may have been slightly disappointed to go down 3-2 away to Didcot Town Reserves last Saturday, though the winning goal came only a minute before the end.

Despite their unimpressive pre-season, the Red Kites are still finding they have players coveted by other clubs. Even before the big kick-off last weekend, Michael Rundle and Chris Byrne had moved on.


Red Kites Ready - 10 August

Henley Town begin their league programme for the season in Division 1 (East) of the Uhlsport Hellenic League onSaturday when they travel to Penn and Tylers Green for a 3 p.m. kick-off.

For the second year running, an unexpected change of manager in the close season has made the club’s task more difficult. Although the circumstances surrounding the departure of John Laugharne and a number of players were regrettable, it is perhaps worth recalling that new manager Jock Mowat, when acting as caretaker, had more successes on a proportionate basis last season than either his predecessor, Gerry McGinty, or his successor, Robbie Crouch.

It is good to see that a number of new local players have signed Hellenic League forms, but, bearing in mind the large number of cups the team will be involved in in addition to its 26 league matches, more players still appear to be needed.

The Red Kites return to Division One football after a single season in the higher grade. After previous relegations, they have not always found life easy in the lower division, any more than did Wokingham and Emmbrook last season. Of the 14 teams lining up this season in Division 1 (East) only seven, including the Town, were there two years ago. Henley’s opponents range from some, such as Penn, whom they have met many times, to two, Virginia Water and Thame Rangers, who are brand new antagonists.

Above all, Henley could have done with an easy start to their league fixtures to give them more time to get their act together, but they could hardly have been handed a more difficult first few games, especially Saturday’s opening fixture. Penn have won Division 1 (East) in both the previous two seasons but have been denied promotion because of inadequate facilities, most notably the lack of floodlights. They will be keen to prove again that on the field itself they are up to Premier Division standards.

Since they first clashed, in 1973-74, they have met Henley 59 times, the Town having a narrow lead in victories obtained. Two years ago, when the Red Kites finished third, they still found the champions formidable opponents, losing 5-1 away and 3-1 at home. One formerly familiar face at the Invesco Perpetual Triangle, Danny Blatchford, has moved to French School Meadow this season.

 

Seeking Players - 21 July

Henley Town are looking to sign a goalkeeper and an experienced Centre  Back of at least Hellenic League Division One Standard.

If you are  interested in joining the Red Kites please contact Jock Mowat on  07447941730 or Louie Tallett on 07397972304. Players in other  positions are also welcome contact the club. 

 

Red Kite's Update - 29 June

Henley Town’s training dates will move to Tuesday's and Thursday's at 7.00pm from 4 July in preparation for the 2017-18 season.

Both old and new players of Hellenic League Standard (FA level 5 & 6) interested in joining the 'Red Kites' should contact Jock Mowat on 07447 941730 or Louie Tallett on 07397 972304 for more information. The club have an FA Level 5 ground with excellent facilities.

The following pre-season friendly matches have been arranged:
Saturday 15 July - Chalgrove Cavaliers Kick Off 2-30pm Away
Thursday 20 July - Taplow United Kick Off 7.00pm Away
Tuesday 25 July - Hambleden (Stewards Cup) Kick Off 7.00pm Away
Saturday 29 July - Cookham Dean Kick Off 2.30pm
TBA - RAF Benson (Away)

 

Training Starts Tuesday - 24 June

Henley Town's Uhlsport Hellenic League squad start pre-season training at the  Triangle Ground, Mill Lane, Henley on Tuesday 27 June from 6:45pm. 

Both previous and new players of Level 5 or 6 standard are welcome to  attend. 

The Red Kites are also looking for a couple more away pre-season  friendlies if you can accommodate please phone Lawrence Tindell on  07706 136798. 

 

Big Changes At Red Kites - 14 June

Henley Towns Annual General Meeting, held at the clubhouse on Monday 5 June was a well-attended and lively affair. Some major changes were made on the night, while others were then made public.

Kim Chapman, who did not seek re-election as chairman was elected as a life member. He was replaced as Chairman by John Hooper, a former Chairman at AFC Henley. Longstanding Secretary Tony Kingston who has been Club Secretary for 26 years, has often expressed a wish to stand down if a suitable replacement could be found, handed over the reins to Lawrence Tindell. Paul Trimmings will be Secretary of the Thames Valley League team and Ryan Brooks is the secretary of the Sunday team.

The Reserve team will be moving from the Uhlsport Hellenic League into the Thames Valley Premier League, while the Club has decided not to run Youth team in the coming season. Sections of meeting expressed a voice that the First team should also play in the Thames Valley Premier League but no decision was made and this will be decided by the new committee.

As emphasised in the Secretary’s report, the club had experienced an unsuccessful season both on and off the field. The First, Reserve and Youth sides had used a total of 10 different managers in all, so it was hardly surprising that the more stable Sunday team were the only one to gain honours.

Treasurer Geoff Biggs reported that a loss of almost £22,000 had been suffered on the season’s working, although much of this related to expenditure that will not need to be repeated, while any outstanding debts were in the process of being paid off.

Mick Keane was elected vice-chairman, and Geoff Biggs was re-elected as Treasurer. Fred Blackall remains as steward, which has now become a committee post. Also elected to the committee were Paul Trimmings, Craig Trimmings, Trevor Beales, John Wylie, Ron Crook, Kim Tindell, Lawrence Tindell and Paul Sykes. Tony Kingston will added to the committee and be Programme Editor if the Club remain in the Hellenic League

After the formal business of the meeting, two of the club’s trophies were awarded. Fred Blackall gained the Eric Bailey Memorial Cup for the person judged to have done most for the club in the past year, whilst Gary Aulsberry was the player’s player of the year by a vote of his team mates.

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