Hawks M1’s made the predictably challenging trip to Milton Keynes on Saturday and, as was to be expected, ended up in street fight for the points. Despite never getting into top gear, Hawks should have put the game well beyond MK’s reach by half time. But several good chances went begging and it was left to Hawks’ increasingly dependable penalty corner routine to give them a slender 1-0 half time lead - Jack Biggs firing home midway through the half.
The second half was a different affair, with MK’s threatening through their only tactic of slinging the ball hard into the D from any angle in the hope of picking up scraps from mis-traps and deflections. Hawks did not deal with this tactic as well as they should, and conceded several penalty corners by failing to control the ball on the bouncy pitch. MK eventually equalised from a second phase penalty corner play, Price having done well to make an initial save. It was no more than MK deserved. However, Hawks stuck to their guns and scored what was to be the winning goal midway through the second half - the extremely scrappy nature of the goal being a mirror image of the game as a whole . . . Kyle Barnes eventually forcing the ball over the line after a game of bagatelle with MK defenders and goalkeeper. Hawks played out the game on the back foot, and didn’t help themselves when ill-discipline led to a yellow card for Dan Rhodes and typical attackers’ tackling resulted in green cards being shown to first Alex Williams and then Tom Godding. Nevertheless, hold on they did, despite several scares. It was not a game for spectators, who would certainly have demanded a refund of their gate money had they been required to pay to watch. Hawks now face first Bromley and Beckenham at home next Saturday and then Havant away in games which will give a much truer indication of the team’s prospects for the season.
MOM - Chris Price
DOD - Dan Rhodes