On a wet and dark early evening Hawks 5s travelled to Cantley Park looking to record their 5th successive win. The omens weren’t great with the team assembling over a 45-minute period. An accident on the M40 meant that goalkeeper Ben Pearce was stuck in traffic and due to arrive after push back. A huge thanks to Ben’s parents for getting him to the ground before any damage had been done.
Damage? No chance - World Cup Star Paul Dunleavy locking down the defence like a small-town sheriff in the mid-west. To everyone’s relief Ben arrived a few minutes into the first half and Hawks returned to the more traditional 4-3-3 line up.
The first 15 minutes were relatively close with Hawks’ midfield of Brook, the returning Alex Bush and the stylishly attired Royer competing well. South Berkshire took the lead against the run of play following a misjudged substitution rotation from Hawks. The retort was swift with Adam Laird scoring clinically following a smart move involving Brook and Baldock.
The excellent Paul Poulter, Charlie Warner and Ed Watson continued to keep South Berkshire at bay, whilst Christmas Draw Champion, Richard Walsh brought energy and verve to the midfield/defence/attack.
1-1 at half time with the game up for grabs.
Hawks started the second half well with Simon White and George Guillain linking effectively with golden stick candidate Laird. Two highly polished short corner routines from Hawks finished from a combined distance of 17 inches by Laird gave Hawks a 3-1 lead early in the second half and another hat-trick for the hungry forward.
The Trap Door ………………… 3-1 became 3-2 with young Ben Pearce saving twice before the ball was fired into the net by the South Berkshire striker. Hawks were rocking and soon after South Berkshire levelled.
Monk was not having this. His drag flick from the top of the area whistled into the net and restored Hawks’ lead. Speed, precision and panache. Another slick short corner routine soon followed with Baldock flicking the ball over the prone keeper.
5-3 seemed a fair result and as the final whistle blew the first fireworks could be seen over the horizon.