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Men's 2s go three points clear at the top

24 January 2015, 12:00, Banbury Road North (Top)

Men's 2s 1 - 0 Eastcote Men's 1s

After the joy of beating Oxford 1's celebrations were cut short as the Men's 2s focussed on Eastcote 1's who were now second, a win would see Hawks go three points clear at the top. Hawks knew that if they rectified the issues from the previous week they would be able to compete with arguably a better Eastcote side, however a previous 1-1 draw away meant it was always going to be tight. 

The game started brightly with Hawks controlling possession, playing into the low bright sun and Eastcote pressing high trying to create early pressure. Both teams having even possession but Eastcote bought the first chance of the game by winning a short corner, Price was able to make a good save low to his left and Ed's stick rattling the back of his arm in case he had missed it. 

Hawks then went on to win two short corners but were unable to get passed the logged large keeper of Eastcote. Eastcote began to then turn the screw a little and Hawks had to respond, as the striker came down the baseline a misjudgement from Price meant the ball went across the face of the open goal without a touch. Eastcote continued to pressure Price making a few more 'regulation', apparently, saves closing down a shot. Hawks were not without their chances, a handful of short corners that they weren't able to convert and some open shots which were dealt with by the keeper and defence well.

 The first half came to an end with Eastcote having more short corners but less shots a testament to Hawk's defending and bravery rather than the Eatcote's cunningness to win them. Price was able to deal with the corners and any rebounds in typical, 'regulation' fashion.

 The second half continued in the same manor Hawks playing good hockey but possibly not being patient enough to get the perfect opportunities, but they were getting opportunities. Wardy was presented with the best opportunity, back to goal he began to turn only to be taken out by the keeper! NOTHING GIVEN! Umpires confer then a flick is rightly given, Will Phillips was given the task of converting, bottom left not problem, or so we thought... Middle left, off the keepers arm and in!! Hawks somewhat luckily 1-0, but Hawks knew this is how the game would be full of attacking hockey and one moment would be decisive, would that be it.

 Eastcote turned the screw, Hawks most definitely playing a little deeper and looking to play on the break were soaking up a lot of pressure but still no straight shots. Eastcote had their 8th Short Corner of the game, Price had kept out all others, after making the initial save low left the rebound was passed inside Price scrabbled across the goal to make a second save, the impending rebound was then passed to the baseline were Drew was able to tip it away.

 Hawks suffered a blow as Ben Roe got a yellow card for breaking up play, Hawk's were now on the back foot a man down Eastcote able to play their backline in Hawks half but the defence stood strong no shots only short corners were given and Price wasn't letting them convert those!!

Once back up to full strength Hawks were able to gather themselves and hold onto the ball, all looked good until Rory decided to play for Eastcote and gift the ball to their centre forward resulting in a short corner. Hawks giving away their 14th and, turned out to be their last, but it was sent high and wide by their top scorer.

The whistle went and Hawks could celebrate, at the beginning of the season they had taken 1 point from their opening 2, now they had taken 6 from their first 2 games after Christmas. The job isn't done but it give's them a great platform to go on!!

 

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