On the day when we woke to news of an impending second lockdown, lashing rain and very high winds, Oxford Hawks Ladies 2s set out to play what was likely to be our one of our last games before Christmas against a strong East Grinstead side. Coach Wilko gave a rousing pre match team talk, encouraging the main theme of the day to be enjoyment, so that’s what we set out to do.
The game started well with both sides fairly evenly matched. A tense period ensued with Hawks having the lions share of possession. EG were first to break the deadlock though with a goal from a well worked counter attacking move. We built up some great passages of play going forwards, and felt the momentum shifting in our favour. We won a short corner and man of the match Rosie stepped up to send her drag flick into the roof of the net!
At half time Wilko gave us some words of encouragement and as Storm Aiden sent down torrential rain, we stuck to the task in hand and worked to wear down EG with our patient passing play. We found some great space all across the pitch, exploiting the opposition’s defence and maximizing our options going towards goal. East Grinstead had gone ahead shortly before the break through a short corner but Hawks quickly drew back level through a short corner effort of our own. At 2-2 we felt that we were in the ascendancy but unfortunately East Grinstead were able to convert a goal to go 3-2 completely against the run of play. Coach Wilko encouraged us to play aggressively through the last 5 minutes and try to force the draw but EG were able to get another goal before the final whistle, meaning the game ended in a 4-2 loss for Hawks.
Although a disappointing result, Hawks played some fantastic attacking hockey and the team were in great spirits afterwards. Sadly, we won’t get to build on this for next week’s game but we’ve been fortunate to enjoy playing hockey up until now. We’ll look forward to getting back onto the pitch whenever that may be.
Many thanks to Evelyn Hargraves for the excellent photos.