The weather forecast had already prepared the team for the pre-Christmas trip to Southampton and there were no surprises as torrential rain was the order of the day. Nonetheless Falcons were up for the game and immediately played with an intensity not seen in the early part of the season.
It cold, wet conditions the best cure is to keep moving and with the pitch suiting a passing game, Falcons played their best hockey of the season so far. With seasoned heads knowing what is needed to put pressure on the opposition, but experienced bodies also needing to deliver the two finally worked in harmony.
A slick move form good work by Warner, Doggett and Burrell in midfield found Dawson in space and he was able to carve the opportunity for Griffiths to finish well. It was soon 2-0 when an excellent move and interplay gave Buzz Burrell the ball in the left channel, and his pass to Dawson was smashed home with aplomb.
Southampton then began to rally and a solid defensive shape was now required. Blomley and Jones worked well in combination with Jones tracking the dangerous centre forward from route 1 play and Blomley picking up the pieces.
Inevitably the Falcons like to make things difficult and a slight lapse led to a short corner which was stopped on the line with a foot and a penalty stroke was awarded. Wilson then took some time to dress himself for the attempt as the remaining 21 players froze in the pouring rain. The delay did slightly faze the penalty striker but the ball still just about found the back-board.
Falcons soon had their 2 goal advantage however as Warner dispossessed the defender on the 25 and slipped the ball to Dawson in space who immediately returned the earlier compliment from Buzz, who made it 3-1.
The second half saw less fluency but in the main this was due to the difficulty in holding the stick effectively as monsoon conditions ensued. The Hawks defence of Kaluza, Blomley, Jones and Wells did keep most chances in check with Blomley subsequently picking up the deserved MofM award.
Despite a second goal from Southampton, Doggett maintained the 2 goal difference with a well taken goal and at the death Dawson found himself the beneficiary of a pass in miles of space on the penalty spot and obliged by slamming the ball home to make it 5-2. The pass was obviously a Christmas gift as it came from a Southampton defender who at this point was clearly unable to differentiate between friend and foe in the deluge and freezing cold.
The hot showers were as enjoyable as the performance and the result!