The M1's entertained Isca from Exeter on Sunday keen to continue their recent run of good results in the EHL. In bright sunshine Hawks took control of the game from the start and opened the scoring on six minutes when Andy Watts received a good pass at the top of the circle from Ed Ellis and in one motion turned and struck low into the bottom corner. The lead was extended four minutes later when Daniel Rayney made a fine ball carrying run into the circle and despite an offload, the ball found its way back to Rayney via the visiting goalkeeper to enable the Australian to register his first goal for Hawks. Despite their advantage, Hawks were never quite able to find the form of recent weeks and missed a handful of gilt-edged chances to put the game well beyond their visitors. Too often misplaced passes and failed traps saw Hawks general play break down and consequently it wasn’t until the thirtieth minute that Hawks won their first penalty corner. Although unsuccessful, the play led to a pass from Chris Shannon to find an excellent lead by Ed Tristem into the circle. His square cross was comfortably dispatched by Freddie Foster at the far post to give Hawks a 3-0 half time lead. A quick free hit by Olie Lobo early in the second half resulted in the lead being stretched to four when he fed Harry Golding who finished on the reverse stick with aplomb from the top of the circle. Hawks continued to misfire but Jack Biggs converted two penalty corners in the forty eighth and fifty fourth minutes to ensure the score line reflected Hawks overall dominance. The game ended worryingly for Hawks when goalkeeper Chris Price landed heavily in making a save and had to retire from the game, allowing Isca to score a consolation goal in the dying minutes. Hawks now find themselves four points off top spot with an intriguing visit next weekend to league leaders Havant.
Many thanks to Clive Jones for the excellent photos.