Hawks 6ths turned up on a very hot and sunny afternoon to play a (“it’s never really a”) friendly against Oxford (5s - TBC?)
New nick-names are up for grabs this season (no more Star Wars references) but Elliott Senior was not happy with his “Barn Door” tag from last Saturday!
The large squad was long on experience and very short on youth (legs), and the pre-match banter had all been about how many “forwards” we had selected.
Skipper Spittles opted against putting five up front, perhaps fearing that the combined pace of himself, Chair and Wellsy would not be able to cope alone at the back.
However, by agreement we were able to play 12-a-side, and so we began with an extra “top of the diamond” position in midfield (so no oxygen would be required).
Against the odds Hawks moved the ball well, attacked down the wings and actually used the width of the pitch (some of us have been listening in training – or at least have been to training!).
It was one such sweeping move, started by Shambles from the middle (“of nowhere”), that led to Nico sweeping home the first goal.
With Callum guesting for us (back to his spiritual home) in goal, and the added protection of Stoker, Image and Hack in front, the defence was rarely troubled and Oxford seemed impotent.
Another driving run, ball out wide to Rob M, and back in across the goal led to a typical tap-in by Darby, and it was 2-0.
The half-time talk was about fitness (not much we could do about that at the time, but Venables is planning revenge in training on Wednesday!), and some tactical talk by Callum that was clearly meant for a different team.
The second half was a slightly slower and less fluid affair, as the pitch and the heat took their toll, and mainly because we had returned to 11-a-side.
Oxford pegged back a goal, to make it 2-1, with a very nimble piece of work in front of Callum, in which they took much delight!
However, Venables’ legs were still pumping, and when he picked up the ball from Chair on the 22, a couple of lucky bobbles later he found himself in a shooting position, which he did not squander.
So 3-1 seemed like a good result – onwards and upwards for the rest of the season (or have we peaked too early?!).
Not surprisingly the MoM votes nearly all went to the youngest players, with Alex “son of Barn Door” Elliot coming close runner up to “Little John” Black.
Result: 3 – 1 win
Scorers: Nico – 10 -15 mins?
Charles D – 20 mins?
Rich V – second half.
MoM: “Little John” Black