Oxford Hawks Ladies' 1shosted high-flying Reading on a bitterly cold Saturday at BRN, a fixture that was only able to go ahead thanks to the huge team of people clearing the pitch of snow all morning. Hawks started at a high pace, dominating the first 20 minutes but were unable to break the deadlock. Captain Bex Oakes came close with a strike from the top of the D which went narrowly wide, and moments later Kathryn Poulter fed the ball through to Katie Lowe whose strike just missed the near post. Ten minutes before half time however Reading took the lead, with a neat reverse stick deflection from former Hawks player Sophie Shakespeare.
In the second half, Hawks continued to push forwards with Oakes and also Row Hearn on fine form throughout, causing Reading all sorts of problems. However Reading doubled their lead after ten minutes when a cross was cruelly deflected off Lucy Stewart for an own goal. Hawks didn't get their heads down and continued to press, and pulled one goal back from Oakes at a penalty corner, but despite pushing hard for an equaliser, Reading held on to take all three points.
Many thanks to Vicki Hearn for the photos