The 3's travelled to the University of Reading to play a mid-table Phoenix and Ranelagh. After securing the second win of the season against Slough the previous week, the 3's were keen to build on this momentum and secure another 3 points to continue to fight out of the relegation zone.
Building momentum is exactly what the 3's went on to do for much of the first half. The ball was retained well with Rich Hill and Will Cross both looking threatening in the midfield. Hawks kept the pressure and retained possession well, something that the team was keen to focus on doing. Hawks continued to push Phoenix deep in to their own half which resulted in opportunities through short corners but still Hawks couldn't find a goal.
However the flood gates soon opened when Chris Sewell got his first goal, which was quickly followed by a great reverse stick finish for his second. He must be taking the fantasy league very seriously (or perhaps he felt that if he has to buy a jug in the season, what better place to do it than a university bar) because shortly after he completed his hat-trick. Hawks lost concentration momentarily which Phoenix were quick to capitalise on, clawing a goal back. Boots then put Hawks back to three ahead with a cleanly struck short corner before the break.
At half time Hawks were 4-1 up and deserved to be as they were the dominant team in the first half. At half time it was noted that they should not rest on this performance and would need to push on to secure the win.
For whatever reason though, the team didn't get out of the starting blocks in the second half and poor decision making resulted in Phoenix getting back in the game. Rather than passing the ball around as they had in the first half, the team began to carry the ball which inevitably meant Phoenix turned the ball over and eventually punished Hawks for doing so. A well taken reverse effort gave Phoenix hope in a game that was all but over at halftime. A well worked short corner then brought the game back to 4-3 before another Phoenix goal brought the sides back level, 4-4 being the final score.
In what has been a turbulent first half of the season, a point would have in most circumstances been a good result. However the team could not help but feel disappointed with not taking all three points when 4-1 up at half time. Nothing should detract from the impressive first half performance but Hawks must look to push on and get a win next week against Wokingham, also at the bottom of the table.