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Ladies' 1s in early friendly against St Albans

23 August 2014, 10:00, Banbury Road North (Near)

Ladies' 1s 2 - 2 St Albans Ladies 1s

Oxford Hawks played their first pre-season friendly against National League Conference East side St Albans, who made the relatively short trip over to Oxford. Fielding a number of new faces, Hawks started well with good linkage play as the debutants settled in well. However it was the away side who struck first, when a strong through ball made its way through to their centre forward, who buried the ball past the onrushing Linda Billington. However Hawks responded well, with good possession, and won a number of penalty corners. However St Albans defended well and kept the home side out until the break.

After half time, Hawks stepped up a gear, and dominated possession for the next ten minutes. They then created a stunning goal, involving three very promising young players all involved in the England Junior set up over the summer. An early free hit from Briony Hearn found Lucy Millington on the left, who played a pinpoint through ball to find Storm Sunderland running in on the far post, who finished well with her first touch. Hawks continued to apply pressure and minutes later, Claire Werlinger used good skill on the baseline to pull the ball back for Kathryn Poulter, who also struck with her first touch, past the keeper into the corner of the goal. However Hawks were not able to close out the game, and allowed St Albans to come back into the game. A strong spell of possession ended in a penalty corner which was struck clinically to the far post. Hawks pushed hard to regain the lead but the time ran down, but both sides can be very pleased with the high standard of hockey for a first pre-season match. The National League recommences on 13 September.

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