Hawks came into their 5th game of the league season with 2 wins and 2 defeats, so were looking for a big performance and a much needed win when they travelled down to Horsham.
The cup game against Southgate due to be played the following day was cancelled, and a potential cupset for Hawks was off the cards, so the focus was solely placed onto the league game. After a team-bonding stop at the famous Beaconsfield services, with several squad members stocking up on their scotch eggs, they met in a Horsham Leisure Centre to hear coach Imran's instructions. The most important message however - get 3 vital points.
Hawks started the game very brightly and opened their account with a goal out of the top drawer. The ball was worked to the top left of the pitch where Ted Bennett picked it up and smashed a reverse hit cross into the D, where Matt Wood was steaming in to first time to place the ball into the corner. Horsham however are a good, tough side, and looked dangerous on the break, and also have an unorthodox threat of the GK hoofing the ball about 70 yards, which proved very effective and is difficult to defend. They equalized through a rebound after a short corner had been initally saved.
Hawks continued to play well though, with Oli Lobo and Dan Rhodes combining down the right hand side to great effect. It was through this combination, and several short passes around the D led to Rhodes squeezing the ball past the keeper for a deserved lead. Ted Bennet then struck the inside of the post and other chances went begging after some excellent interplay. Again though Horsham struck back, Hawks failing to deal with the GK's 80 yard boot, Horsham levelled the scores to take it to 2-2 at half time.
The second half was a closer affair with both teams slugging it out. Hawks gradually started to come out on top, re-taking the lead after a Jack Biggs drag taking a deflection and wrong footing the keeper. Horsham recovered, and won several short corners, and made it 3-3 with another rebound after the first flick had been saved.
Cards started to flow from both sides as both pushed for a victory. After another Horsham short corner was saved, they put the ball into the net. However, fortunately for the men in maroon, the umpire had already blown his whistle, and after a consultation a stroke was awarded. This was a crucial moment in the match, and Chris "Rambo -One Man Army" Price made a brilliant stop to keep the game at 3-3.
The game went into the final 5 minutes with Hawks desperate for a winner, and after some great work from the forwards, they won a short corner. Jack Biggs dispatched it into the bottom right. Get in. It looked like the deliberate delay on the drag was a stroke of genius to trick the Horsham GK, but as Jack admitted afterwards, he didn't catch it clean so had to delay. Such honesty. In the final minute, Hawks won another corner and Biggs this time absolutely buried it to the delight of the hawks contingent.
A well deserved victory after a vastly improved performance from the whole squad. This was proven with MOM votes being awarded to Chris Hardy, Ed Ellis, Jack Biggs, Oli Lobo, Ted Bennet, Matt Wood and Dan Rhodes. However, Chris Price just took it after the crucial stroke save.
They must however back it up with a winning run in the next few weeks to try to reel in Bromley and Beckenham, who are currently sitting with a 100% record. Also, a big thanks to the other halves and family members that came to support.