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Laird squared inspire 4's to victory

30 October 2021, 11:45, Bisham Abbey

Men's 4s 6 - 2 Marlow Men's 3s

Oxford Hawks Men’s 4’s beat Marlow 3’s 6-2 in emphatic fashion at Bisham Abbey. It was only three weeks ago the 4’s travelled to the same venue with eleven players and lost 1-0 – there was certainly no repeat this time around.

Hawks were in the ascendancy right from the word go. Their high, narrow press forced Marlow to make numerous errors at the back, and the 4’s capitalised. Chris Maidlow got himself on the scoresheet with his first goal of the season, and Tom Mills followed with (yet another!) tap in from close range.

Then came a goal for the Laird’s family scrapbook. With the ball under close control, man of the match Julian drove confidently into the D and along the byline. With Marlow’s defenders scrambling after him, he looked up and picked out Dad, Adam, on the penalty spot; who fired the ball high into the left-hand corner of the net. It was a memorable goal and encapsulated Hawks’ fine first half performance.

Before the half was up, though, Chris Maidlow would double his goal tally for the game and the season – his work rate was yet another highlight for Hawks in a half that ended 4-0.

The second half began as Hawks had feared – they were a little too relaxed, and Marlow were not prepared to roll over. The opposition flooded the middle of the pitch, pushing the 4’s on to the back foot. As a consequence, they fashioned a number of chances of their own and pegged a goal back with a fine reverse stick finish – an alarm call for Hawks. This was followed by an even better reverse stick finish from Marlow; this time off the middle of the right-hand post to make the 4’s sweat – at 4-2, Hawks were no longer home and dry.

Thereafter, Hawks began to build some possession and their nerves were eased as they began to find space in behind Marlow’s defence. Plenty of short corners fell their way, all of which were well orchestrated by Barnaby Barber. Eventually, an attempt from Barber was well saved by Marlow’s goalkeeper, only for Adam Laird to pick up the loose ball and bury it to make it 5-2 to the 4’s - breathing space.

Then came another second half reverse stick finish, only this time it was for Hawks. Luke Piper barraged his way into Marlow’s D, navigated the ball on to his reverse side and slammed it into the middle of the goal to ensure the 4’s would leave Bisham Abbey with all three points.

A comprehensive and well-deserved victory. The 4’s will now look to go on and secure back-to-back-to-back victories for the first time in recent memory and, in doing so, propel themselves into promotion contention in South Central Division Three.

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