Never-say-die determination sees West Hampstead win a thriller
West Hampstead 4 Henley 3 WEST Hampstead came from behind three times to beat Henley in Saturday s South League division two thriller at Brent Cross. The determined display lifts Jamie Dru s outfit to third place with 18 points from 1
West Hampstead 4
WEST Hampstead came from behind three times to beat Henley in Saturday's South League division two thriller at Brent Cross.
The determined display lifts Jamie Dru's outfit to third place with 18 points from 10 games.
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But crucially the vital win leaves West within reach of league leaders Wimbledon, who, with 25 points, are two clear of second placed Gore Court.
"The guys showed a lot of character [on Saturday] and fought it out until the final whistle," said a delighted Dru.
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"The fact that second-placed Gore Court dropped points on Saturday and the top two teams play each other next week gives us a chance to narrow the deficit further.
"We have a tough away game against Lewes on Saturday, but if we win that we are in with a shout [of achieving promotion] at the turn," he continued.
And Dru, who last season guided West to within one point of promotion, is clear on what is needed to reach the first division for the first time in his club's history.
"We must go on a good run and rack up a large number of points in the second half of the season to force our way into the top two," said Dru.
On Saturday, Henley opened the scoring in the 10th minute but the lead did not last, Sam Lemmon levelling four minutes later, after threading his way through the defence.
But the visitors quickly reclaimed the lead when they scored with a drag-flick in the 17th minute, only for Harry Willetts to level the scores again three minutes later for 2-2.
Henley continued to attack and were rewarded soon after, bagging a third for a 3-2 lead.
Yet West once again refused to roll over and Dave Leech netted five minutes before the break for 3-3. West were then forced to defend stoutly for the remainder of the half when Jack Beard was sin-binned for 10 minutes.
After the break West survived the first five minutes without Beard. And on his return it was Beard, who had scored in nine of West's 10 games this season, grabbed the winner in the 60th minute.
West complete the first half of the season with an away match at Lewes on Saturday. Dru's men return to action on January 17 at home to Wycombe.
West Hampstead squad: Beard: Brookes, Brown, Culverhouse, Dru, Hartley, Armstrong, Kutt, Allfrey, Leech, Lemmon, Ross, Willetts.