Oxford Hawks Men’s 4s secured their first MBBO Division Two victory of the season against Osterley 1s, courtesy of a late James Holder finish.
In an end-to-end encounter, Hawks held on for a thoroughly deserved 3-2 win, learning from their mistakes last week when they suffered a disappointing late draw against Oxford 3s.
Hawks frustrated Osterley in the opening stages of the first half. They moved the ball quickly and made optimal use of the pitch, with George Guillain impressing in a wide role for the 4s. Despite Hawks’ positive start, it was Osterley who opened the scoring after cheaply dispossessing Hawks and hammering the ball home to make it 1-0. Despite a foray of chances, including a handful of short corners, Hawks could not find their way past Osterley until the closing stages of the first half. Up stepped Barnaby Barber, who slammed the ball past the impressive Osterley goalkeeper to make it 1-1 at the interval.
Hawks continued to work relentlessly in the second half. Their persistence was awarded early on, when George Guillain found Adam Hamid at the back post of Osterley’s goal. Hamid was briefly thwarted by Osterley’s goalkeeper, but typical of his performance he scrapped away on the deck and managed to convert his second attempt to make it 2-1 to the 4s- Hawks with both hands firmly on the steering wheel.
Osterley would go on to make it 2-2 from a controversial penalty flick, however Hawks were not done there. Osterley began to tire, and would occasionally threaten Hawks on the break, but the youthfulness of Hawks determined the outcome of this fixture. Fine performances from Matt Oakes and Sam Hill saw Hawks continue to put Osterley to the sword but an unlikely hero claimed victory in the closing stages. An attempted shot at goal eventually found its way to James Holder, who duly nudged the ball past Osterley’s goalkeeper to make it 3-2 to Hawks.
Hawks displayed steel and focus in the remaining five minutes of this fixture to claim a well-deserved three points. More importantly, some fine performances from the younger members of the squad will provide the 4s with a great deal of optimism- promising signs indeed.