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Cold comfort for Ladies' 1s at Sutton Coldfield

05 March 2016

Ladies' 1s 4 - 5 Sutton Coldfield Ladies 1s

Oxford Hawks travelled to top of the table Sutton Coldfield keen to make amends for their 7-0 defeat in the first half of the season. The game didn't start to plan, with the Hawks back line being put under huge pressure right from the first whistle. However they almost took the lead on a quick break but Jo Tolson couldn't quite get on the end of Lex Thomas' cross. Sutton responded well and soon took the lead with a slick passing move, finished by former GB player Jane Sixsmith. They doubled their lead moments later as their continued pressure paid off, and added a third after a goalmouth scramble. Despite the scoreline, Hawks enjoyed plenty of possession but could not penetrate a well-set Sutton defence. The home side added a fourth near the end of the half when Sixsmith drove into the area and finished well under the advancing Jess Hughes.

After some wise words from coach Andy Clark, Hawks came out a changed side, with some confident transferring under pressure from Becky Hibbert, and Ella Cusack skilling her way out of danger to distribute well. They pulled one back with a perfectly executed corner, finished by Lucy Millington, and a minute later Katie Lowe received the ball with her back to goal and skilfully turned and beat the keeper. Sutton responded well and player of the match Hughes had to be on fine form to block a number of well struck efforts. However it was Hawks who scored again when Lowe was bundled over by the goalkeeper, and Becky Odlin stepped up to convert the resulting penalty stroke. The crowd were stunned into silence shortly after when Millington converted a carbon copy of her first goal. Sutton then pressed hard, knowing they needed a win to continue their promotion drive, and their pressure paid off minutes from the end when they converted a corner of their own. There was still time for one last Hawks attack but Kathryn Poulter was millimetres away from getting on the end of Thomas' cross. The final whistle blew much to the home crowd's delight, but Hawks can be very proud of an exceptional second half performance.

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