A night of heavy rain and continuing drizzle meant that the top pitch was in perfect condition for Saturday’s match against High Wycombe 3s. Two Wycombe sides are in our league and their 2s had already duffed us up earlier in the season and their 3s were a similar mix of youth and experience. We had 14 as skipper Dave and Brett remain on the injured list but we have a lot of strength in the squad and we also managed to eke out a further game for the burgeoning Nick Mahon, who improves with every game. Without Brett, we actually came up against a side that chucked more aerials than we did and this caused us a few problems as they targeted the impressively skilled duo of HW, one who really should play at a higher standard (but has availability issues) and their feisty inside left with the lavender-coloured hair and top-knot. The first half was a pretty even affair, but our pressure told and Nick Mahon opened the scoring with an excellent passing move down the left and off the baseline, soon followed up by clean strikes from Cameron Saint and Martin Pickup on the reverse. Seemingly coasting, Wycombe pressed and Atkins was called into a fair bit of action between the sticks, before we got caught on the break from our own short corner– again (fourth time this season, assures Tom) – and their more senior striker dinked the ball over the prone keeper and finished calmly … before being wiped out by an apologetic Gary Mahon (don’t worry, he got his revenge later in the game). The next goal was crucial and fortunately it went our way, as Jasper finally found his range and radar, slamming it in from the slip left at another short corner. The defence never felt safe however, as their talented young striker continued to wreak havoc and he managed to waltz through our defence midway through the half before smashing it on the reverse between the keeper’s pads (oh, the ignominy!). There was enough time for top-knot to get a green card for chat, as well as Cameron to grab his second with another clinical finish to make it 5-2. This was another well-earned 3 points against good opposition in what is turning out to be a very competitive league. Hawks remain fourth, four points behind Harrow 1s. Thanks to Dawsie and Jacqui for their excellent umpiring.