Hawks travelled to Ramgarhia knowing a win would all but secure their safety in MBBO division two this season.
They started the game brightly. Paul Scragg found plenty of space out on the right-hand side of the pitch, with chances literally falling at the feet of the 4’s. Unfortunately, the men in their white away strip could not capitalise.
Ramgarhia could not keep Hawks out for much longer, though. Fifteen minutes into the first half, some fine trickery from Chris Maidlow found Matt Oakes at the back post. With a splendid cover drive reminiscent of Sir Alistair Cook, Hawks were 1-0 up and seemingly in the driving seat.
That was until a plot twist- the influential Kieran Roche pulled up lame and was unable to continue. After a string of stand-out performances this season, he will be dearly missed by the 4’s as they enter their crucial end-of-season run-in. We wish him a speedy recovery.
In the home teams’ XI was the prolific and all-time leading goal scorer in the South League. It was he who lead a Ramgarhia resurgence in the latter stages of the first half. After being left in plenty of space at the top of Hawks’ D, he fizzed an effort into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.
It was clear that Hawks needed to inject some pace into this game. The start of the second half proved to be a mirror image to the start of the first half- plenty of chances fell to the phwoars but they simply couldn’t convert them. Ramgarhia would make Hawks pay. A short corner fell their way and did what Hawks couldn’t. They found the target and gained the upper hand in what became a frustrating game for the away team.
Despite having much of the possession in the second half, Hawks simply couldn’t find a goal. Ramgarhia were seasoned opponents and managed the game well, picking off tackles and defending robustly. Inevitably, Hawks were always going to have to chase the game. This therefore left them exposed at the back and, as a result, Ramgarhia’s prolific goal scorer took full advantage. He grabbed his second of the game against the run of play to make it Ramgarhia 3-1 Hawks in the dying minutes.
As the full-time whistle blew, a reflective Hawks knew they only had themselves to blame with this defeat. With five games still to play, safety in the division is still to be confirmed.