Hawks ladies 3s finally managed to play a home game at fortress BRN after no fewer than four home matches had been cancelled since our last home match in November. But everyone managed to find the changing room and skipper Jacs coached us to use the brilliant passing play we'd displayed against Reading last week, and let the ball do the work.
In the 10am fog we started the game slowly, finding our feet with a few changes to the line up. We looked stronger from the outset but it took a while to get things flowing, with the first ten minutes end to end and plenty of work for the midfield. Bonnie was the first to open the scoring with a goal after 8 minutes, letting Hawks relax a bit and start working the ball around the pitch.
The play was stop-start with not much advantage going on. Hawks had eight inners in a squad of 15, so we had to do some creative positioning and it took a little while to remember to use both the width and the height of the pitch. After the first ten, Hawks looked more dangerous and started to transfer the ball effectively with some brilliant work on the T spot giving us plenty of opportunities in the D. Laura was next to score with a one touch sweep finding the back of the net - 2-0 to Hawks. Hawks then won some short corners with clinical work from Elisha and Becca in the D, and scored from a nicely executed 1-2 which was swept into the net by Kim.
Tireless work from inners Gabs, Becca, and MOM Laura kept the ball firmly in the Amersham half. It was Beth's turn to score just before the half time whistle when some great team work gave Beth the chance to pop away a trademark goal after a timely run. At half time it was 4-0 to Hawks!
Solid feedback from Jacs and Sue gave Hawks a bit more to think about in the second half - attacking in pairs and working the ball around the pitch, and not giving away possession carelessly. The second half was punctuated with cheers from the top pitch, where the 4s were busy with their own goalfest. A busy day at BRN!
Amersham hadn't given up however and defended deeply, giving Hawks less time in the D, and it showed, with Hawks pushed into awkward shots, going wide or mistiming first time hits. Hawks had the majority of possession but it took until 12 minutes before a brilliant turn around in our defensive D made it up the pitch in 3 passes and Bonnie was on hand to sweep the ball past the keeper: 5-0.
Amersham capitalised on another Hawks miss and with a burst of speed, found themselves with three players alone in the Hawks D, with only Olivia to challenge them. Olivia made a valiant save but Amersham had the numbers and put themselves on the scoresheet.
Hawks rallied with several more near misses, with Megan, Laura, Beth, Becca, Saskia, and Elisha all unlucky to score at some stage. We put the nail in the coffin ten minutes before the end of play with a well-constructed team goal put away by Elisha, who had shown some amazing effort in the attacking third.
The final score was 6-1, with Hawks a bit disappointed not to have made more of our chances. It was a solid team performance with very high work rate by everyone in the squad. Thanks to all our spectators, StatO Katie for running the subs and stats, and Sue for her half time advice.