The M1's moved another step closer to their aim of National League hockey next season when they edged out Old Cranleighans in London on Saturday in a closely fought contest. With OC's lying third in the league, this was always going to be one of Hawks toughest fixtures in their run in and the task was not helped by a dry and lifeless playing surface which made creative hockey almost impossible. Both sides created half chances and had their fair share of possession in the first half, and Hawks suffered the setback (some would say good fortune, it won him MOM votes) of losing Drew Blackburn to injury after fifteen minutes. But it was Hawks that eventually broke the deadlock in the final minute of the first half when Jack Biggs converted from Hawks first penalty corner of the game.
The second half followed a similar pattern with neither side really dominating proceedings. But Hawks probably created the more clear cut scoring opportunities without ever quite being able to grab a second goal that would have given them some breathing space. The home side lacked any real menace up front and the circle penetrations that they did make were generally marshalled well by the Hawks defence and Chris Price in goal. Ben Gregory narrowly failed to convert a one on one scoring opportunity and Biggs had a second penalty corner saved off the goal line. But Hawks managed to see the game out and still lay six points clear at the top of the table plus a vastly superior goal difference with just four games to play.