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Town v Gown clash ends up level - Kofi Anann not needed.

08 February 2020, 11:30, Banbury Road North (Top)

Men's 5s 1 - 1 Oxford University Men’s 4s

Remember the corresponding away fixture? Forget about it...

 

Ed's rag-tag group of old dogs and young guns came up against a fit, skillful and organised Oxford University Fours, as you would expect at this stage of the season, and were the better team for long periods of the game.

 

From the get-go, Hawks played neat hockey at a high tempo, combining swift switching around the back with the occasional direct pass to forwards posting up. This approach put a lot of pressure onto Oxford, which paid off early in the first half when Lairdy hit a neat reverse hit to put Hawks 1-0 up.

 

Boots, fresh from his UFC debut, ran the bench, which worked really well - instead of changes causing chaos, they were quick and effective. People knew the positions they were playing in and slotted in quickly.

 

Hawks had chances to extend their lead in both halves, but a combination of uncharacteristic misfires in front of goal and a strong goalkeeping performance left the strike force frustrated.

 

The game was played in a good spirit overall, but there were some frayed tempers at times in midfield tussles, which Foggy took up vociferously with the umpires at half-time, requiring intervention from UN delegation led by Ed Baldock.

 

Midway through the second half, Hawks won one of a number of short corners, from which club stalwart and team mascot Ed made a clean strike which was heading for the bottom right corner, only to clip the foot of a Uni defender and head just wide. A clear penalty stroke? Sadly a long corner from the keeper's save was the decision, as much to the surprise of said keeper, who said he hadn't touched it, as to the incredulous Hawks.

 

Hawks continued to push, but it was the University who struck with 5 minutes to go. Hawks rallied quickly and dominated the last few minutes, seeking out that last chance to take all three points.

 

It looked like it was going to come right at the death, with the old master Lairdy about to pass to young Jonty, free on his own at the top of the D, when the full time whistle blew to deny Jonty his glory.

 

At the end of the game, the team was disappointed with a draw, but as the skipper said, we will look back at this as a point earned as the Uni Fours are doing well and play some good hockey.

 

It was a great game both to play in and to watch - some good hockey was played by both sides and the effort from every member of the Hawks team was phenomenal. Special mention goes to the younger members, who all put in great performance - Jonty, Rory, Sam, Alex, Whitey and Ash (sic). It was also good to see a return to the Fives from Ed Watson, who had a very assured game at the back.

 

Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, don't look around my eyes, look into my eyes...

 

 

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