After a long drive into the outskirts of London that left the leafy views of Oxfordshire far, far, far behind, Hawks mens 3s had landed. The 3s were keen to continue the successes of the last few games. After a rousing speech by their fearless leader, the team got underway with a warm up that included a controversial interruption by a Man City chant (the Kolo Yaya Toure).
Shortly after the start of the game, Hawks managed to overcome their first challenge of the day: not enough white shirts. Luckily Ian had his 'hooters' t-shirt from back in the day and was able to wear that. The first half was well fought with one disallowed goal to the Hawks.
The second half saw an increasing number of cards with Connor green carded for putting his stick behind him, and some confusion as to whether hawks players had or hadn’t made a substitution. Matt was later also rested for 2 minutes for a professional foul, the umpire clearly confused as to what level we were playing at.
Finally Hawks managed a late breakthrough goal... Raoul put the ball into the danger zone (in front of but not into the goal). The West Hampstead defensive scrambled to clear the ball, but in their eagerness they were kind enough to kick the ball neatly into bottom left corner of the goal. Not exactly a crowd pleaser but as a forward it is always nice to watch a defender's worst nightmare come true.
With only 5 minutes left for Hawks to hold out, the game called for intelligent gamesmanship to hold on to victory. With West Hampstead pressing hard for a goal, a defensive 16 was awarded - a good chance to use up 30 seconds. Instead, Anton not-so-subtly kicked the ball away and was awarded a yellow card for his troubles. With the game underway again and Hawks down to 10 players, the game reached a feverish pace. One or two players showed some of their acting skills as they struggled to find exactly where to play the ball after nearly every whistle. This could have slowed the game and made things boring so Rocket showed his composure and experience and made sure the game continued to entertain the crowd. With only minutes to go, he ignored the temptation to play it safe when taking a 16 and threw an overhead straight to their centre forward. Some quick thinking in defence prevented another goal.
With only a minute or two left the West Hampstead keeper was taken off as they desperately pushed for the equaliser. Hawks cleared the ball and it turned into a foot race between Arthur and their slightly slower looking defender. It was a tightly run race, and the ball looked like it would be caught by the players at the top of their now completely empty D. Without the keeper at home Arthur had the potential to score a final goal which would help improve the Hawks frankly amusing goals difference, but the final whistle went as they got to the ball. Final score 1-0, another win and things moving in the right direction before the Christmas break.
Mom: Chris, for his hard work on and off the pitch.