With 13 teams in Hellenic League Division 2 West, Letcombe were the `odd man out` and hence arranged a friendly at home to East Hendred. They gifted a goal to their opponents in the second minute when keeper Ben Beasley`s attempted pass was intercepted, leaving the opponent with a lob into the empty net. Josh Fowler`s free kick hit the base of the post as Letcombe took control of the game, and Boyan Thorpe drove the equaliser into the bottom corner after good work by Luke Polding. Fowler was a constant threat to the Hendred defence, and his determination saw him win two 50-50 challenges with a defender and then the Hendred keeper before placing the ball into the empty net. Beasley made two brave saves before Fowler increased the lead just before half time when a long clearance from Beasley evaded the Hendred defence, and Fowler lobbed the ball over the stranded keeper.
In the first minute of the second half it was 4-1, when a clearance from the Hendred keeper went straight to Kias Bonner-Shea who returned it into the top corner. Back came Hendred when a through ball opened up the home defence, and the visiting striker made no mistake. Five minutes later it was 4-3 when Sam Mulvey was penalised for a tackle on the edge of the penalty area, and the visitors scored from the spot. Fowler completed his hat trick, running through a big hole in the Hendred defence to score, and he set up number 6 with a great run and cross from the left which was driven first time into the net by Greg Nutley. The scoring was completed when Bonner-Shea was fouled by the Hendred keeper, and he picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty.
This was a pleasing Letcombe performance against a side that they will meet again in the Berks & Bucks cup in four weeks time. Letcombe looked dangerous every time they attacked, with Fowler always looking dangerous. Sam Mulvey and captain Chris Rivers controlled midfield, and Luke Polding produced some excellent crosses from the left. It was slightly worrying to concede three goals, but if Letcombe produce this kind of performance throughout the season, they will win a lot more games than they lose.
Letcombe have two home league matches on 31st August and 7th September against Newent Town Reserves and Shortwood United Development respectively (3.00).