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Battling Hawks go down fighting at Newbury & Thatcham

19 March 2016

Men's 4s 0 - 1 Newbury & Thatcham Men's 2s

Newbury really wanted to win this match. Looking at their club website after the game, we noticed the current 1st team photo had four players who had just played us and almost certainly ensured their 2s get promoted to MBBO Division 1. Talking of ringers, it reminded me of a time Surbiton 2s played Southgate 2s who were aided by then current GB international Jon Shaw and every time he touched the ball, our 1st team manager loudly clanged a large hand bell, much to said legend’s annoyance. We always knew this was going to be a tough game at their less than hospitable ground and so it proved and to be honest they didn't need the assistance of two home umpires who just weren't up to the job. Newbury had 80% of the possession and 95% of our ball was in fairness airborne, as Brett constantly relieved the pressure and turned defence into attack with about, ooh, 30 aerials. I don't know if the Thatcham umpires had been sent an email about Gary Mahon's reputation, but they appeared to have made their minds up about him as soon as he drove into the car park and in his own homage to the late departed Paul Daniels (RIP), Gary did his own magic card trick with an amazing three greens and a yellow, narrowly missing out on a full house. If he was harshly treated, as was Luke with another green, our complaint was a lack of consistency as every time the opposition made a nasty foul, they were merely given a stern word; us (well Gary, mostly) nearly always a card. For all their possession, Newbury were profligate in front of goal and despite winning several corners and clear chances, they never took the game away from us, although Atkins in goal was constantly in the game. Angus and Robbie gave us much needed legs in midfield and skipper Dave had his hands full, not least with the constant chatter from their incredibly smug skipper, who annoyingly scored the only goal from a messy scramble in front of the  Hawks goal. We battled throughout and Ollie Dunn played with a lot of composure at the back under great pressure. Brett was outstanding, Nathan did a sterling job, despite playing out of position and our runners up front were tireless despite not getting much ball. As the nerves showed in the home team, we created a few chances but Newbury deserved the three points, but this was a team that we felt bore little resemblance to the team we played earlier in the season. Great fun despite a 0-1 defeat, we secured 4th in the league.

 

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