Hawks L4s put a triple layer of icing on this season’s final cake (and there have been many of them!) away at Sonning, including a strong candidate for team goal of the season and quite probably the save of the season from Evelyn.
Blue sky. Sunshine. Meteorological opposites from the snow and sleet that caused this match to be postponed at the end of January. Hawks started briskly, going 1-0 up within the first few minutes in a move started by Paola, her pass sending Rebecca chasing after the ball, showing great determination to fight for possession and get the cross in across the D. Sandra had followed up play with a forward’s instincts and dived on the left post as Rebecca’s cross winged in, commitment to the cause evident as she narrowly avoiding being steam rollered by the advancing Sonning goalie, sliding the ball neatly underneath to score.
Sonning were spurred into action and the defensive skills of Emily, Phil and Becky were needed to restore calm. However, Sonning equalised 5 minutes later, capitalising on a period of sustained pressure in the D, a cunning flick eluding Evelyn’s outstretched left hand.
A mid-field battle ensued, with Sonning seemingly having greater appetite for the 50:50 ball. However, possibly the Hawks team goal of the season was then scored by Rebecca, the build-up involving at least 8 players in a sequence of rapid-fire passing – Becky to Paola, to Catherine, first touch pass to Millie, then Olivia, to Jo, back to Olivia in space, fab pass to Sophie, who summoned a cross from the left that split the defence, picking out Rebecca glued to the far post (of course), who despite her excitement at the spectacle that had just unfolded in front of her eyes (especially a pass from Sophie!) managed to retain enough self-control to calmly pass the ball neatly into goal. 2-1 to Hawks!
Hawks finished the first half on top, undeterred by the sight of a lycra-clad Vicky arriving on her bike and leaking blood after an embarrassing chain incident whilst stationary. Hawks maintained good height and width and won a number of short corners, Rebecca and Sophie coming close from Millie’s injections, then Row showed good vision with a cross-field ball to Rebecca, who crossed into the D, Sandra nearly getting her second of the day shortly before the whistle blew.
More chances were soon created at the start of the second half, with two more shorts. Caz, who had worked tirelessly all match to create opportunities, took the shot, which rebounded off the goalie to Rebecca, but the Sonning defence recovered their composure and made the ball safe. The third goal was initiated once more by Paola, a strong pass from defence again connecting with Rebecca; the cross reliably delivered and Sophie, going for maximum backboard resonance, made no mistake with her strike.
Mid-way through the second half, Evelyn pulled off the most awesome of reflex saves as she dropped to deflect a low ball with her left hand, thwarting its ambition to nestle in the corner of the goal. If only we had action replay!
Hawks had engaged cruise control, but a final drama unfolded when Sonning were awarded a short just before the final whistle. Their shot headed towards Phil, holding her “they shall not pass” stance on the line – but it was shins, not stick that stopped a certain goal. Net result a well converted penalty for Sonning, making the final score 3-2 to Hawks.
Hawks L4s finish the season in a very healthy third position – a great achievement having only been promoted last season. Won 16, Drawn 1, Lost 5, GF 76, GA 29.