The M1’s entertained Brighton in a proverbial six-pointer at BRN on Saturday, with both sides in need of points towards the bottom of the table. Hawks started brightly, so much so that Matt Wood gave them the lead inside two minutes with a calm finish. But instead of settling any nerves, Hawks failed to play with any cohesion throughout the rest of the first half and their game plan seemed largely forgotten. Brighton were intent on making the contest a dogfight, constantly questioning umpire decisions and neither side seemed able to raise their game to gain an upper hand. Chances came and went at both ends but Hawks held onto their lead until half time, thanks in the main to keeper Chris Price who was once again in outstanding form between the posts.
The third quarter followed the same pattern as the first half but some salient words from coach Todd Williams going into the final quarter clearly galvanised the home side and the quality of their hockey picked up markedly. Several good circle penetrations were created and Brighton were very much forced onto the back foot as they ran out of steam. But it wasn’t until the fifty seventh minute that Hawks gave themselves the comfort of a two goal cushion with an incisive passing move into the right side of the circle involving Noah Francis, Tom Miotto and Andy Watts before Watts picked out Olie Lobo for a close range finish at the far post. Hawks should have gone on from this point to take the game away from Brighton, but they made harder work of the win then they should have and with just under two minutes left on the clock Hawks conceded a soft goal from a penalty corner which briefly set alarm bells ringing. However, they played out the remaining time with no further panic and now sit level on points with Brighton ahead of a trip to Havant next Sunday.