When Hawks finally scored the winner with 1 minute to go, it had been a long time coming.
As we restarted, waiting for the clock to tick down, the opposition centre-forward commented: “Well, it’s taken you long enough!”
Little did he know, as Darby retorted, that it has actually taken about 3 weeks and over 200 minutes of hockey to get that one winning goal!
It had indeed been a long time coming – Tyser’s celebration (and the team collective sigh of relief) may have been borne from the frustrations of earlier weeks (not to mention Tyser’s howler of a miss in Witney two weeks earlier…oh, sorry, have I brought that up again!).
But this had also been a hard-fought victory against an experienced and canny Reading side (you never do know what you are going to get with Reading!).
They turned up late, with 9 players, we started like that, only to find a father and son duo arriving on the side of the pitch. Unfortunately, son – “No.11” – turned out to be rather handy!
Despite all that, we had massive domination throughout the game – the 4-4-2 was bedding in nicely, and in truth the defence, and Bunny, had little to do; and coped admirably when they did have to deal with “No.11”.
At half time, Chair’s usual optimism was still there – “we are playing well… more of the same… just enjoy yourselves… blah blah blah…” but even here there as a hint of concern, frustration – would the goal come?
As time ticked by, and more and more chances came and went, more and more short corners came and went, Darby missed his own howler from the top of the D, suddenly, behind everyone…
IT ALL KICKED OFF! All we saw was Elliot recoiling, bloodied, stunned, confused! “He just hit me!” “You were going to head-butt me”. Much pushing and shoving!
Elliot went back in for more – Shirley valiantly turned peace-keeper and separated the warring parties. No-one knew what had happened… the umpires had a conflab…and decided to do nothing!
Elliot had to go off for First Aid, never to return to the pitch. The Reading player later apologised and said he shouldn’t have reacted that way… a frosty “entente” was established in the Clubhouse afterwards.
Excitement over and a few minutes later, the last short corner of the game, a quick alternative to Venables, who shot into the D, Tyser ran across the keeper to get a glancing touch – so Option 27C had come up trumps!
Keep practising those short-corners boys, and the shooting!
Well done to all. Great victory – this could be the turning point…the flood gates will surely open now.