Rooted to the foot of the table after last week’s thrashing at the hands of BA, Hawks faced an early season 6 pointer against fellow strugglers Bracknell. With captain Biggs away, it was left to Tom Bacon to step in and lead the side. Unfortunately a blown tyre en route to the match meant Bacon’s tenure didn’t get off to the best of starts, and at the 1pm push back time he was still awaiting roadside recovery just off the A34. Nevertheless, the report must go on.
After a sluggish warm up, a very static Vauxhall Corsa failed to get out of the blocks in the early stages. A lack of pressure at the back meant that it had struggled to gain momentum, with the front two offering little movement. Playing in an unfamiliar position on the hard shoulder was proving difficult for Bacon, and with 10 minutes on the clock the prospects were bleak. However, help was soon at hand in the form of Dutch player-coach AA van Driver, who arrived on the sideline and immediately rang the changes. The introduction of A.Jack gave the whole team a lift, and once the injured right back made way for promising young Frenchman Michelin, balance was restored to the side.
After instructing his charges to tighten the screw, van Driver moved Bacon into a free role, and this soon paid dividends. Following a delightful reverse, the skipper cut inside and beat his man for pace before slotting into the parking space with aplomb. Bacon arrived at the pitch as the halftime whistle sounded to find that Hawks were a goal up thanks to MOM Ollie Lovibond’s thunderous strike.
Always happy to help his team out of a pickle, Torbs Turland had filled in as on pitch captain, and both he and coach Dunners requested an improvement from the side in the second half. Within a couple of minutes of the restart it was almost 2-0, as Chris Sewell’s excellent cross was somehow missed by Dawson at the back post. Fortunately the next opportunity didn’t take long to present itself, and after the initial shot was saved, Steve Hudson forced the ball past the stranded keeper to double Hawks’ lead.
Several more opportunities came and went for the home side. Cameron Saint saw a shot whistle past the post after a fine solo run, while Will Cross could only find the side netting with an acrobatic effort. With nerves setting in, Bracknell got in behind the Hawks defence to half the deficit and set up a grandstand finish. The hosts were dealt a further blow when Stoker inexplicably requested that the umpire show him a card following a cynical foul, and Bracknell pressed forward sensing an equaliser. Hawks keeper Jonny Atkins made several crucial saves, but was left stranded when a last minute attack saw the visitors square the ball to a forward with the goal gaping. However, Bacon’s challenge took the pace off the shot, and a sprawling Callum Musto cleared off the line to ensure the home side took all three points.
A big win for Hawks as they move off the bottom of the table – however, the side know they will have to be more clinical in next week’s match away at Sonning.