The match started well with Hawks winning an early short corner, which was slickly executed and found Beth on the right post for her usual lethal finish, putting Hawks 1-0 up in the first two minutes. Newbury rallied quickly after that and the play was end to end, with several good chances from Hawks and Evelyn being called upon to make some classy saves to keep Hawks up. The pitch was very different from the Hawks surface and we had to adapt to a slower ball pace and a stickier pitch, which made it tricky for Evelyn to clear the ball with her kickers. With rolling subs of 16, Hawks took a bit longer than normal to settle down, with continual changes of personnel. Newbury showed skill up front and looked threatening in the D at times. Eventually Newbury won a short corner and their slick routine brought them a goal after 10 minutes, taking the score to 1-1.
Thereafter Hawks looked determined and in control. After a period of sustained, disciplined attack, Phoebe got away a powerful sweep which was just saved, but the keeper couldn't recover in time to stop Gabs neatly burying the ball in the back of the net. 2-1 after 20 minutes, with Hawks looking composed and in control. Hawks were still lacking a bit of confidence and structure to transfer the ball, but short, sharp passing defeated Newbury's defenders time after time. Newbury weren't out of the game however and a quick break saw Evelyn make a great save, which rebounded to a Newbury player and it was left to skipper Jacs to make an outstanding reverse stick save on the goal line, preserving the Hawks advantage.
Hawks showed our usual second half improvement, resolved to continue with the work in triangles, hunting in pairs, and displined tackling. Within the first ten minutes, MOM Bonnie reopened the scoring from Hawks with a powerful finish from a well-worked goal. Hawks looked instantly at ease with the 3-1 lead and started to show the calibre of hockey that has seen us win fourteen of our fixtures so far this season.
Hawks's sixteen-strong squad started to show its advantage, with Newbury tiring and unable to keep the Hawks attack at bay. Another attack on goal saw Emily drop the ball off the right post to Megan, who had time to unleash her powerful strike and put the ball in the goal before the Newbury keeper had time to realise what was happening - 4-1 to Hawks. A few minutes later, Bonnie crossed the ball to Emily who finished neatly from the p-spot to take the score to 5-1.
Another decisive victory for Hawks takes us to second in the league with three games in hand over the teams around us. With five more matches for Hawks to play, there's still a promotion to be secured and everything to play for.
Thanks as always to our spectators, especially for the stats report! MOM was Bonnie for her tireless effort and cracking goal.