After losing 4-3 to Reading the current holders of the HA Cup in tier-1 Round 1 and dropping into the tier 2 competition, Hawks Supervets hosted Stratford at Teddies on Sunday.
Without Gary Mahon and Nobby Clarke the side were joined by Will Cairns from the Mens 7’s and after a reshuffle that saw club captain Chris Hutton move to centre-half and skipper Buzz Burrell revert to his more customary Inside left position and with Andy Sumser dropping back from midfield to Right Half and being replaced by Richard Venables, the Supervets settled into a neat fast flowing style of play, exploiting spaces and retaining the ball. Simon Dawson, Nige Doggett and Phil Dunnill up front were stretching the Stratford defence and enabling the midfield to join in and it was two such attacks that led to goals being scored firstly by Richard Venables and then Buzz.
With Buzz sidelined temporarily after being hit by a lifted ball and Hawks having to make enforced changes, Stratford pulled a goal back and continued to enjoy a good period of possession where Hawks earlier efforts in addition to games the previous day began to take their toll, but they were unable to get the better of Jonny Atkins and his defence again and the half closed with Hawks holding a 2-1 lead.
The break did the trick, giving players a much needed rest and with Buzz rejoining the fray Hawks came out fighting, taking back control and with their tails up soon added a third goal through Mark White after more good work by Boots. Stratford weren’t going down without a fight and despite excellent defensive performances by Dutch Heinrich, Andy Sumser, Andy Kaye, Chris Billington and Dave Blomley, the visitors managed to pull another goal back midway through the second half and Hawks lead was cut to a nervy 1 goal. Hawks continued to edge possession and continued to make the more decisive openings and it wasn't too long before the 2 goal lead was re-established when Boots added a deserved and fourth goal. This took the wind out of the visitors sails and the game went beyond a spirited Stratford team to finish 4-2.
Hawks now await the next round draw and last sixteen tie to be played in the New Year.
MoM: Nige Doggett/Boots Dawson