A comprehensive victory by the Falcons preceded the 1st team win by the same score (should we always play before the 1’s, are we a lucky omen?). The day started with torrential rain and numerous traffic issues for Haslemere to contend with, which resulted in the visitors arriving with only 9 players. Hawks with a squad of 16 intending to rotate ahead of the O50’s HA Cup match on Sunday against holders Reading then loaned skipper Buzz (who was supposed to be resting for the 1st half) and Whitey Snr who relished the opportunity to test his fitness against his team mates defensive abilities.
The first half was reasonably even with both sides creating chances and with Whitey running the Hawks defence around, Haslemere soon recovered from the stresses of the M25 and A34 and settled into the game! Buzz was marshalling the visitors midfield and going up against his O50 partner Simon “Boots” Dawson at Centre Half for his first Falcons game this season, but with the two of them closing each other down, it enabled Dutch Heinrich to take advantage of the space and move up field and when he was found and skipped by two players in to the D he didn’t hesitate to crash the ball home to give Falcons a 1-0 lead. A lead which was doubled shortly afterwards when some good play by Boots found Phil Dunnill high up the pitch and he was able to slip the ball inside the defensive line for Mark White to tap home from close range.
At this point Buzz and Whitey took control of Haslemere’s attacking play and when Buzz crashed a ball through the Falcons defence, Whitey superbly picked up the ball and smashed a shot beyond Wilsdon giving the visitors some hope and leaving the few onlookers wondering if Falcons were being too generous with the loanies. The first half continued with end to end moves and opportunities for both teams, with Dunnill going close with several chances (artistic licence by the editor) but as half-time loomed, Dunnill evaded the vistors tackles drawing the defence toward him and was able to slip the ball inside to an unmarked Steve Griffiths to give Falcons a 3-1 halt-time lead.
The second half continued with Buzz trying to find the mobile Whitey for Haslemere but without further goals and with Hawks youth and relative fitness beginning to show against a mostly O60 Haslemere side it wasn’t long before a fourth goal was added by Boots from close range. The Falcons defensive unit of Blomley, Billington, Heinrich and Hutton were beginning to cope with Whitey’s pace and movement and on the occasion a sight of goal appeared for the Haslemere attack, Wilsdon in goal was more than able to deal with the situation. Eventually a tenth Haslemere player managed to break through the traffic and arrive at BRN and so Buzz retired to the Falcons bench to watch the rest of the game and prepare for the HA Cup game on Sunday. Falcons continued to dominate and really turned up the gas, Nige Doggett added a fifth from close range and then Steve “Groff” Griffiths received a pass from Andy Sumser playing wide right and Groff lifted the ball over the defence from a tight angle to give Falcons a 6-1 lead.
In a bizarre piece of play Charles Potter advancing from midfield then gave the ball away in the D to a Haslemere defender who was obviously feeling generous and gave it straight back to Charles who accepted the gift and shot the ball passed the defence for 7-1. Dunnill who had been frustrated most of the game eventually got a reward for persistency and added an eighth from close range, celebrating wildly and the game ended 8-1 to the home side.
Both teams retired to the bar to dry-off and for Haslemere to workout best routes home! As a result of other scores, Falcons moved up from third to second in the table just behind Woking, last seasons league winners who are now the only unbeaten team in the league. Falcons look forward to their next league game away at Windsor next Saturday. The O50’s HA Cup match report from Sundays game can also be found on the Hawks website.