On Saturday, the 6s travelled to my old alma mater RGS High Wycombe to take on Wycombe 4s. Coached by my old maths teacher, Wycombe had a very similar make up to us in terms of having one old lag and a bunch of under 18s. Similarly, we had Ed, Jonny, Matt, Richard, a welcome return from post-op Hutts and debutant Ash as our only non-teenagers, along with ten under 16s. In a fast and furious game, numbers were to be a contributing factor as we outnumbered our hosts 16 to 12. The speed of the Wycombe youth was immediately apparent and we came under a fair amount of early pressure, much of which was coped with well by our back two of Charlie and Aaron, along with Matt and George D, but eventually we were breached and Wycombe took a deserved lead as they passed the ball into the goal. With Ed Baldock entering the fray midway through the first half we worked our way back into the game, although we were hugely indebted to some great keeping from our keeper Theo Sanders, who along with many others made a terrific double save from a short corner, along with a great left handed save from a drag flick. We could easily have been three or four goals down, but a moment of madness from the Wycombe keeper just before half time allowed us back into the game. A speculative clearance from the back was aimlessly heading for a 16 before their keeper rushed out beyond his D and hoofed the ball away near the 23. The umpires were thrown by this for quite a few minutes, not quite sure what to do, before eventually awarding a short corner – a card might have been expected, but in truth it was probably an abberation and an honest mistake. However, Baldock Snr took full advantage and flicked the ball passed the prone keeper. HT 1-1
We could consider ourselves lucky to hold parity with the home team up to this point, but our numerical strength told in the second half as we rotated regularly and were certainly more threatening with impressive running contributions from Ash, Arthur, Finn, and George G up front. After 50 minutes, Louis made a decent pass to Mattie H who thumped the ball high past the keeper on the reverse and for some time it looked like we might steal the points before Theo was again called into action to make some further stellar saves, before an overload allowed Wycombe to equalise late on. The game was seen out and only a late heinous foul by their senior player on Ed – who remained ‘fairly’ Zen-like and kept his own counsel under extreme provocation – soured the game’s overall well-mannered temperament. All in all, 2-2 was a fair result and Hawks can look forward to playing high-flying Oxford next week with some confidence.