This was always going to be a tough ask. Both teams had won 4 out of the 4 league games, and had both qualified, with maybe the winner getting the better draw at the Regionals, but Blueharts had scored rather more goals than the HAwks team. We travelled to Hitchin with a weakened team, but the strength of the squad meant that HAwks nearly pulled off a win.
In the early part of the game, HAwks barely managed to get the ball out of their own half, with Blueharts pressing really well, and it was a surprise that it took the opposition so long to score - off a well worked short. But slowly the HAwks team found their tempo, and once they remembered some of the basics about retaining possession and playing with a bit of patience, the Blueharts team showed signs of weakness at the back. The Hawks work rate increased and, they scored a goal, which quietened the home crowd somewhat, game on!
Second half and Blueharts raced at the HAwks team, but their better players started carrying the ball more into contact and the HAwks team started to counter really well, with Will Cross and Will Brotherton leading the way. At the back, Archie Spittles made some excellent saves with Charlie Stoker and Giles Oldershaw running their legs off in defence.
Harry Venables and Robbie Scragg started to take the game to the opposition, and, from an excellent passing move right back from their own D, Hawks managed to scramble the ball into the Blueharts net, and the most unlikely of scores looked possible 2-1 up with 15 to go.
The onslaught though, couldn't be kept at bay and the Blueharts team managed to get an equaliser and then, a winner as the Hawks boys ran out of steam.
Everyone tried their hearts out, and so nearly got there, by dogged grittiness.A great performance by the squad.
We now play Beeston, Warwick and Lichfield in the Regional Finals on MArch 1st, which should be a great experience for these boys.
Goals Harry Venables and Will Senior