Hawks Ladies 4s met Newbury & Thatcham 2s at Fortress Banbury Road this weekend in a close fought match which may have a big impact on league positions over the Christmas break. Hawks were in second position in the league and were visited by fourth position Newbury. Hawks had a strong squad but were taken aback by Newbury's strong start to the match, and started slowly.
The first few minutes saw strong possession from Newbury who put Hawks firmly on the back foot, but a strong 16 yard hit from Hawks created a counter attack against the run of play that Hawks were unfortunate to miss. Hawks settled in to the game, certain that there was time to get on the scoreboard. The first twenty minutes of the match saw end to end play with both teams keen to put a goal away. Evelyn made some heroic saves (silently, as she had lost her voice!) and defenders Phil and Becky confidently dealt with most of Newbury's efforts in the Hawks D. Hawks won their first short corner after 17 minutes but were unable to convert.
Strong attacking play from Sherene, Caz, Rebecca, Emma and Pip created plenty of chances for Hawks but we just couldn't find the back board, and Newbury presented a real threat with plenty of shots of their own. Hawks built solidly through half backs Megan, Catherine, Kim, and Helen, and inners Sophie, Harriet and Charlotte worked hard to link up play. Robust attacks by Newbury were swept up by defender Becky Brodie who put in an almost flawless game for a well deserved player of the match.
Just after the start of the second half, Newbury found a break and made a strong attack at the Hawks goal. In a scramble they found the back of the net and a goal was awarded. Hawks questioned the goal as the ball was seen to hit a Newbury thigh before going in the goal, but after the umpires conferred, the goal stood and Hawks were 1-0 down.
Hawks rallied from the disappointment and won several short corners, some of which we were unlucky not to convert. Despite a massive team effort, we were unable to put away an equaliser and were gutted to come away with no points after a close fought game. The league positions stand after Wallingford lost a match but the points situation is very close among the top four teams and Hawks have everything to play for in the next half of the season.
Thanks to Dave Dawes and Tim Spittles for whistling.