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Hawks 4s manage draw with impressive Wallingford

21 November 2015, 13:30, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 4s 2 - 2 Wallingford Men's 2s

Storm Barney was still in full flow on Saturday as the Mens 4s took on Wallingford 2s on the home show pitch and we were full of hope that we would perform better than last week, despite coming away with a scrappy win. Wallingford 2s are in the bottom half of the table and have struggled with 1st team departures – like many clubs, they do the brunt of the hard work developing promising young players only to see them depart for University or larger National league clubs. They rocked up with a bare eleven, although possessing a lot of experience; Hawks were the classic blend of old and young, with four under 18s in our midst. However, we got off to the worst possible start as, unlike the previous week, our goal was breached in the first five minutes with a slick move and sumptuous wall-pass that their centre forward dispatched with alacrity. We passed the ball around much better than last week, but tended to by-pass the midfield which meant we too often went long and hopeful. Both teams had plenty of opportunities to score and the Wallingford inside right certainly looked a team too low and caused us plenty of problems. Jasper had one gilt edged chance to gain parity but was denied off the line, while their keeper had a stormer. HT: 0-1

Hawks started to dominate in the second half as superior numbers no doubt helped; eventually their keeper was beaten with a well worked goal finished off by Jasper, but we then succumbed to an excellent bit of skill, their blond ‘ringer’ (not really) dipping his shoulder and skinning Gary Mahon, and drilling past Jonny Atkins reverse stick into the corner. We pushed forward constantly, and although they continued to look dangerous on the break, James K and Brett looked composed at the back, and mentions in dispatches for Johnny Florey for his tireless effort and Robbie ‘the Wanderer’ Scragg for his best game for the 4s. Mark Crowley equalised with a typical smash into the roof of the net and although we had plenty of chances to take the three points, a draw was a fair result. The game was undoubtedly helped by the excellent officiating of Dave and Hutts, despite failing to card Nathan for at least four blatant back stick tackles – did you play a lot of ice hockey in your youth, Nathan?! FT: 2-2


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