This was the first Oxfordshire league fixture for the U14 boys this season. The Oxfordshire League gives the squad an opportunity to encourage development for players new to full pitch hockey and to develop leadership skills in some of the more experienced players. The squad on this occasion included four players from the under 12’s who have been playing for the development team, several players new to the club and several players who regularly played in under 14 games last year, with a really good mix of skills.
Hawks dominated the play as the game commenced but were frustratingly unable to convert chances into goals. Following some great passages in play in which man of the match Archie Spittles made some fabulous saves, often isolated when Witney counter-attacked, Witney scored from a short corner. This seemed to trigger an increased intensity and work rate from the Hawks squad. Some great passing and movement off the ball, particularly from Seb Mulford who commanded the right back position, well supported by George Chambers, Matt Rogers and Kiran Patel. After 12 minutes Callum Chapman came off the bench and converted a short corner into a goal to equalise, not a bad strike for a keeper! The second goal sent into the D by Callum led to a deflection into the goal by Will Webb to go 2-1 up. Witney swiftly came back at Hawks and through lack of marking from a long corner converted their chance into a goal going into half time.
In the second half Hawks players again showed that they really can pass, use the line and switch the play resulting in a great goal by Jake Taylor in his first full pitch game for Hawks at this level. In the second half the defensive team of Jamie Wells, Oliver Lovibond and Jon Flory was much more consistent, they progressively managed to intercept the ball getting us back into attacking positions. Some interesting passing choices in midfield led to Archie having to make some more fabulous saves and lead the defence. Despite being regularly challenged Archie kept a clean sheet in this half earning him his MoM award. Towards the end of the match with both teams showing signs of tiredness Hawks were awarded a short corner which Ned Gordon managed to convert resulting in a final score of 4-2. This was a well deserved result for a team showing just how much skill we have available to us in the squad.
George Chambers, Callum Chapman, Jonathan Flory, Ned Gordon, Oliver Lovibond, Sebastian Mulford, Kiran Patel, Matthew Rogers, Robbie Scragg, Archie Spittles, Jake Taylor, Harry Troughton, Harry Venables, William Webb, James Wells
Player of the match: Archie Spittles
|Callum Chapman||Penalty Corner|
|Ned Gordon||Penalty Corner|
|Jake Taylor||Open Play|
|William Webb||Open Play|