Hawks 5s 2 - 0 Bracknell 2s
31 January 2015, 12:00, Banbury Road North (Top)
Men's 5s 2 - 0 Bracknell Men's 2s
Another snowy Oxford morning, but the slush on the fields was gone by the noon push-back for Hawks 5 and Bracknell's 2nd XI.
In the opening third, two well-matched teams ran hard, both showing good possession and control. Hawks created the better scoring opportunities, but didn't convert, and then appeared to sag as Bracknell surged and carried the play in the middle of the opening frame. From then on, it was all Hawks, and in the 15 minutes before half-time the 5s played some of their best hockey of the season. Even so, a few wasted opportunities and a Bracknell keeper who stood tall, kept the game scoreless at the half.
Hawks 5 continued to press from the beginning of the second half. Their central spine — Rob Oldershaw at centre back, Doug Harris in centre-mid, and James Holder at the top of a midfield diamond — dictated play, with Cameron Saint and Andy Sumser attacking down left and right channels in mid-field. Alex Savage and Sam Burton, playing their first games for Hawks, were useful additions.
Strong forechecking by the hard running Matt Dodd and Nathan Sutton up front and a full court press kept Bracknell hemmed in their half, but as the clock wound down, the Hawks still didn't have a goal to show for their dominant play. Jack Sobey alertly turned aside a couple of Bracknell shots in keeping a clean-sheet, with strong support from Karl Hack and John Carey in the backfield, but Bracknell never mounted sustained pressure. The question was whether Hawks would score.
Dodd finally marked the scoresheet with less than 10 minutes to play when he knocked in a ball from a goal mouth scramble, and then did it again on a penalty corner rebound to seal the home team victory. With the win, Hawks 5 moved past snowed-out Banbury 3 into second place in MBBO Div. 4, keeping the pressure on league-leading Harrow.
Man of the Match — Rob Oldershaw