The Ladies 2s met bright and early on Saturday morning for yet another trip to the seaside. Given their recent run of results, and with Brighton only 1 place above them in the league, the 2s knew this was a must win game. For some of the more experienced players in the team - this was a chance to right some wrongs from their 2 previous haunting trips to Brighton.
Hawks started brightly, with many promising attacks, leading to a couple of short corners. The breakthrough came from one of these, the initial strike being saved, however Jo was well placed to bury the rebound.
Brighton were not without their fair share of attacks, and our penalty corner defence team had plenty of practise. Fortunately for Hawks, man of the match Kate Brine was on fine form in goal, making many great saves. Ably assisted by a couple of goal line clearances from Laura. Sadly one of the short corner saves fell kindly to a Brighton forward who shot high into the goal to equalise. Laura nearly saved it, unfortunately injuring her hand in the process.
Hawks have been in this situation in the game a number of times this season, and were determined to retake the lead. A strong break from Hawks gave Kathryn a shot from the top of the D, only to see it come back off the post, with Jo inches from the rebound. Undeterred, the team worked hard to create opportunities. Sienna then went on a lovely run, beating 4 or 5 defenders to shoot for Tam to deflect past the keeper. From there Hawks worked hard to limit Brighton’s opportunities aiming to maintain their lead into half time. At this point, Lilli took a knock to the chin, and play stopped, with Em and Laura doing a great job of first aid. With 1 minute remaining after the restart, Hawks managed the game well and maintained possession.
After some wise words from Tam and Em, Hawks came out for the second half with lots of determination. Hawks continued to play the ball well around the back, with strong running across all lines. Most of the half was a fairly event stalemate, with opportunities at both ends, but the defences coming out with the ball. As the game approached the last 10 minutes, Brighton pressed higher in search of an equaliser, and Hawks found it harder to clear their lines. The game also got more scrappy with both teams working hard. It was one of these tackles that saw Helen shown a yellow card. Down to 10 players, the team adjusted to a changed formation, and worked hard to limit Brighton’s opportunities. However there were some very nerve wracking moments, as the team faced a number of short corners, with Kate pulling off some great saves to keep Hawks ahead. It was just after Helen coming back on, that Rosie was then shown a yellow for a stick tackle. The last few nervy minutes passed, as Hawks counted down to the final whistle, to see the game out for a win and 3 hard earned points!
The team are looking forward to another trip to the south coast next week for their last match before Christmas, hoping to put together another good performance.
MoM: Kate Brine