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Barber puts the shears to Wycombe

12 December 2020, 12:00, Royal Grammar School

Men's 4s 3 - 2 Wycombe Men's 2s

Oxford Hawks 4s ended the first half of the season on a high, with a 3-2 win over Wycombe 2s. The score line would suggest otherwise, but this was a fairly convincing win for the 4s- they were 3-0 up with 10 minutes to go before Wycombe put up a spirited comeback.

There was a sense of deja vu about this fixture. In similar circumstances to last week’s defeat against West Hampstead, the 4s went ahead early on through Barnaby Barber. The finish was a carbon-copy, with Barber slamming the ball against the bottom right-hand side of the backboard from a short corner. Hawks went 2-0 ahead later on in the second half, this time from a well taken Adam Hamid goal. Despite some pressure from Wycombe, a superb Ben Pearce performance in goal ensured that Hawks would remain 2-0 ahead at the interval.

Again, like last week, Hawks were 2-0 ahead. But there was nothing deja vu about the second half.

Hawks were resolute, yet patient in search of an all important third goal. Luke Piper was a menace up front, but it was Barnaby Barber who yet again found the backboard 10 minutes into the second half to stretch the 4s’ lead. Conveniently, Barber and Hamid are now joint top goal scorers for the 4s this season.

Hawks continued to frustrate Wycombe, but it would be fair to say that the opposition deserved at least a goal from this fixture. Despite Ben Pearce’s feline reflexes, Wycombe managed to scramble the ball into the goal to give them some hope going in to the final ten minutes.

Wycombe were given even further hope, when Hawks went down to 10 men for the final five minutes after skipper Guy Biggs was given a yellow card for a sliding tackle which Roy Keane would have been proud of- good intentions, nonetheless. Wycombe managed to bag themselves another goal in the final minute of the game to make Hawks sweat a little, but the 4s remained composed and saw the game out 3-2.

After a narrow defeat last week, this narrow but deserved victory provides the 4s with a fair reflection of their season to date- waves of trouble and unpredictability, yet signs of progress and optimism. Sound familiar?

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