Last Saturday's exceptional win against title hopefuls Maidenhead rapidly became a distant memory as the 2's slumped to defeat to Slough 1's in Berkshire. Late calls on the squad by the 1's and a particularly inhospitable start time of 10.30 didn't help but the chums had only themselves to blame for an error strewn opening 20 minutes which saw them go 3-1 down before the sun had fully risen.
Slough turned out to be a whole lot better than their opening day 5-0 reverse to Chiswick suggested remotely possible and the home side boasted several very sharp performers whose individual skill in possession routinely left Hawks defenders floundering. Having said that the chums failure to close down the home side and some pretty fragile challenges when the chance to engage and turnover did present itself contributed to Slough's dominance of the first period. Thus Matt Janes' goal in the first five minutes of the game was but a consolation by the time the interval arrived.
Some reorganisation at half time contributed to a much better showing from Hawks in the second half and even the flickering possibility of garnering a point from the contest. Jake Taylor slammed home his second goal of the season but a further short corner strike from the home side's stand out player - 6'4" of mesmerising Asian magic - put the result beyond the reach of the visitors. To their credit Hawks put Slough on the back foot as the home side tired but couldn't manufacture a further goal which might have caused some real panic in the Slough ranks. There was a fine individual performance from Stormsy in the second half who gave every indication of being on top of his game. Welcome back Dom!!
Altogether a disappointing foray into the jewel of Berkshire but on this showing Slough will be a handful for most sides in this League and your correspondent confidently predicts will give one or two a real hiding.
Finally readers of these match reports from last season may have detected a noticeable change in style and content. Perhaps I should explain the reason for it.
This is a reflection of some severe, unwarranted, and I may say very unfair, criticism directed towards your correspondent over the summer that last season's reports contained an unacceptable excess of verbiage and waffle - the inference being that there was far too little direct reportage of events on the field and far too much idle discussion of matters that have no place in a reputable journal. While I reject that criticism I have, reluctantly, decided to bow to the majority view as articulated by a number of senior and widely respected club members.
As a consequence this report is therefore unremittingly dull because it faithfully reflects only the game which I had the misfortune to watch from start to finish. Had I been permitted to mention, for example, Laurie Cooke's riveting account of stabbings he had witnessed in the last 2 weeks and the fascinating open debate he had with Jake Taylor in the changing room about respective crime rates in Oxford and Slough, this would have been an altogether more entertaining article. But I'm not.
Your loss gentlemen.