The M1's entertained league leaders Olton on Sunday buoyed by the confidence of their cup win over premiership side Reading the week before. And the confidence showed from the start, with Hawks taking the game to the leaders from the off and grabbing an early lead on five minutes when Harry Golding finished high into the roof of the net after latching on to a fine probing pass from Jack Biggs. Olton enjoyed their fair share of possession and territory and levelled the scores on sixteen minutes when a visiting forward reacted more quickly than the Hawks defence to a smart initial save by Chris Price. The rest of the first half was a generally even affair with both sides looking for circle penetrations but neither able to open up the opposing defence.
Hawks came out of the blocks quicker than Olton following the half time break and from their first penalty corner of the half a Biggs drag flick was deftly deflected home by Andy Watts to regain the lead for Hawks. With twenty five minutes still to play, both sides jousted for dominance but a yellow card temporary suspension did not help the visitors. Hawks looked to be seeing the game out with Chris Price dealing comfortably with a couple of Olton penalty corners. As the clock ticked down Olton removed their goalkeeper in the hope that an extra outfield player might salvage a point for them. But the plan backfired and Hawks scored two quick fire goals in the closing minutes through Watts and Freddie Foster to add some gloss to the score line. A deserved win for the hosts and onwards to a double header next weekend with trips to Bristol on Saturday and then Cardiff on Sunday.
Thanks to Clive Jones for the excellent photos.