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M1's open with a point at Southgate

26 September 2021, 14:30, Southgate HC

Men's 1s 2 - 2 Southgate Mens' 1s

The M1's had a tough EHL opener away at Southgate and returned home with a point from a 2-2 draw.  Pre-season for the M1's had not gone smoothly and the squad was certainly under-cooked for the start of the league campaign.  Despite this, Hawks started well and held the upper hand in the early exchanges, eventually winning a penalty corner in the fifth minute which Jack Biggs converted.  The first quarter went to the visitors, but the quarter break seemed to disrupt their rhythm and Southgate equalised early in the second quarter from a penalty corner follow-up despite an excellent double block and save from Chris Price in the Hawks goal.  1-1 at half time was a fair reflection of the play, but Hawks had certainly wobbled after conceding and needed to regroup during the break.  Unfortunately they didn't and three minutes into the second half a cheap turnover deep in their own half saw Hawks concede another penalty corner.  Price made a couple of great saves to deny the initial strike and follow up, but the ball fell kindly for Southgate and a lifted pass towards goal was met with an overhead finish which saw the home side take the lead.  By now the Hawks rearguard was under pressure, and they had to work hard to repel a series of three penalty corners in succession, Drew Blackburn excelling with his running down.  Hawks did not help themselves during a torrid third quarter and lost Kiran Patel and Ted Bennett to cards but on the stroke of three-quarter time determined work by Ed Ellis won Hawks a penalty corner which Biggs converted in off a post to level up the scores.  This gave Hawks great encouragement and they had the lion's share of territory and possession in the final quarter.  But one final penalty corner was well saved by the Southgate 'keeper and Southgate also had a penalty corner chance that they couldn't convert.  Ed Tristem failed to take one last chance and both sides probably finished the game thinking they could have taken all three points.  But a point for Hawks represented an encouraging start to the league season.  Old Cranleighans at home next Saturday, push back at 5.00pm.


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