The mens 3s were well beaten by an organised Harrow 1st team today. It was always going to be a tough fixture, away in London at 4pm with no prospect of post-match frivolity in town afterwards. However, just as in the previous two games, the Hawks team showed some strong hockey at times and will feel frustrated to have lost so convincingly to a team that didn't dominate the game.
It was a fairly even first 25 minutes, with both teams managing some D penetrations and attacking penalty corners. Harrow managed to convert one to make it 1-0, but this seemed to spur the Hawks players on. In particular, Arthur Baldock showed some real determination, getting away shots, dribbling with purpose and even volunteering to trap some corners when others were off the pitch. Yet again, Will Barlow showed how comfortable he is at this level by performing his usual acrobatics in goal and denying Harrow on several occasions. Whilst at the other end, Man-of-the-Match Raoul Patel impressed with some intricate play with team-mates and baffled opposition defenders with some slick stick skills. Hawks had plenty of corners (the umpires counted 11!) but were unable to convert whilst Harrow managed to notch another goal shortly before half time to make it 2-0.
In the second half, several players stepped up the intensity: Matt Northfield worked hard with some dominant leads; Chris Pittaway crept up the pitch from right back; Finn Rumsby made some outstanding tackles to snuff out Harrow attacks; even the usually calm & collected Nick Lamb had a 'discussion' with some opposition substitutes on the sideline. However, a few mistakes in critical parts of the pitch allowed Harrow to score two more scrappy goals. Hawks tried to stretch the game in search of a much-needed goal to start the come-back and, with fewer defenders in position, allowed Harrow a final goal before the final whistle. 5-0 to the home side.
Aside from the initial penalty corner, Hawks will feel disappointed to have conceded in the way they did and on another day could have scored several goals themselves. Many of the Hawks players are already looking forward to the return fixture, knowing how sweet our inevitable revenge will be. Until then, there's the prospect of a home game at fortress BRN next week to focus on.