Oxford Hawks made the trip up the M40 to face University of Birmingham 2s in their third game of the National League Conference West. Hawks, brimming with confidence after a strong performance the previous week, started well and won a short corner after just two minutes. Hawks were not able to convert but they continued to put pressure on the home side, who were reduced to ten players after a green card at five minutes. Birmingham did eventually settle into the game but some outstanding defending, particularly from Gemma Taylor and goalkeeper Millie Lane, kept the score goalless at half time.
The second half of the game was a completely different affair, with goalkeeper Lane reduced to a spectator for the majority of the quarters. A number of green and yellow cards were shown to both sides, but Hawks remained calm and continued to play good passing hockey throughout. They broke the deadlock five minutes into the half when player of the match Caro Harris finished well from a rebound at a penalty corner. They doubled their lead at the start of the final quarter as Becca Edwards, unphased from a nasty face injury in the warm up, drove into the D. Her effort came off the post but Lexi Newall was there to pounce on the rebound to make it 2-0. Five minutes from the end Hawks secured the three points as Caro Harris struck again from a corner. The final whistle blew leaving Hawks happy with a good attacking but also defensive performance, and they now build towards their long trip to Exe next weekend.
Thanks to Kiki Glen for the excellent photos.