Hawks ladies 3s faced Banbury for the first time this season in a rearranged fixture. Hawks have been on fine form recently, having scored 12 goals in the last two matches. But Banbury were an unknown oppo and Hawks wanted to ensure 3 points to keep in contention for the top of the league.
Hawks were a bit lacklustre for the first few minutes, taking time to settle and turning over a lot of possession to Banbury, who looked useful on the break. But gradually we started to find the passing form which has served us well in recent weeks. Elisha opened the scoring about ten minutes in with a strike from the top of the D which whizzed past the keeper to find the back of the net. Hawks conceded two corners, which were easily dealt with by Katie and April at the back, before Beth was able to score Hawks's second goal, just before the half time whistle. The umpire played a brilliant advantage after Beth found a Banbury foot in the D, and the ball was popped around, ending back with Beth who decisively swept the ball into the back of the net which would be the first of her hattrick.
Hawks were relieved to be at 2-0 at halftime and Jacs briefed us to play the ball around more and use the width of the pitch, and be more clinical in the D. As usual, the team responded well and won a short corner within the first few minutes of the second half. A confidently executed corner routine injected by Bonnie, stopped by Katie M, with a one-two between Kim and Becca, was neatly put away on the right post in a now-trademark goal from Beth.
Minutes later player of the match Beth had her hattrick with a confident one on one with the keeper, taking it to 4-0. Thereafter the goals came thick and fast, with Banbury unable to get a look in. Saskia scored a beautiful goal with a sweep from the edge of the D, then Bonnie and Lizzie had a speedy 1-2 which was powerfully finished by Bonnie.
Hawks won another corner but the first attempt was stopped after an early break by a Hawks player. The corner was retaken, this time with a rocket-powered strike from Lizzie who had been determined to score - now at 7-0. Rosie was next on the score sheet with a very classy solo run into the D - unmarked, she lined up a powerful shot which the keeper had no chance of getting to.
Elisha maintained her incredible workrate and was obviously keen to get herself onto the scoresheet again. She created an incredible solo goal by driving into the D on the left and dropped the ball under her shoulder, only to receive it back and drive the ball home underneath the keeper. Several other players were unlucky to put the ball just wide but Hawks had sustained pressure and were rarely troubled by Banbury in our own half. Katie M controlled the middle of the pitch confidently and created countless opportunities for Hawks, and Becca shone in right half, showing discipline and creativity to keep the ball moving around the pitch. Gabs was also unlucky not to score but worked hard on and off the ball with some effective leads.
In the closing minutes of the game, Saskia took Hawks into double figures for the first time this season with a powerful sweep which found the top of the back-board: 10-0 for Hawks, who couldn't quite believe it!
Kudos to Olivia in goal who never touched the ball but kept the defence on the ball whenever Banbury breached our defensive 25, and Laura who narrowly missed out on MOM after creating masses of play as an inner. And thanks as usual to our supporters who cheered us on!