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Back in action and building back

15 January 2022, 16:00, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 5s 3 - 1 Wallingford Men's 2s

In the first match of the season, the 5s lost 3-0 away to Wallingford. That preceded a weak first quarter of the season with five straight losses. But the second quarter of the season saw a change of form with some wins, movement towards mid-table and a growing team spirit. With the derby against the 4s coming up, the 5s were keen to put in a good performance in the return fixture. 

Mysteriously Tom Harris from the 4s had appeared on the team sheet. He claimed this was because he couldn’t travel to Windsor with the 4s. Rumours that he was spying abounded. Absences included the captain, Bas, Christophe and Dylan.

Despite a positive start, Wallingford were first to score after about 10 minutes. The young Wallingford striker pulled off a neat finish on the reverse that showed quality. The 5s stayed focused and responded five minutes from a short. The ball was slipped left to Ed Watson who struck cleanly at goal with Rich Tyser deflecting the ball around the keeper. Hawks kept pressing and about midway through the first half some good build up play saw Hugh move the ball from a 16 into space for Jamie Bush who ran before moving the ball to Charlie. Charlie passed it on to Tom Underwood who crossed for Benji to finish at the back post. Nice. The remainder of the first half was tight with Hawks pressing but Wallingford showing potential to break with a couple of skilful strikers. Unfortunately there was also an injury to Ali – fingers crossed the calf improves quickly.

At half time, the chat was straightforward: if we could continue to play our game we should come away with a win. What followed was the best spell of play the 5s have produced all season. The hockey flowed. Passes found their target. Players moved for one another. Numerous chances were created. Unfortunately, despite several goal line scrambles nothing quite got over the line. Then, Tom Underwood (who had already had a goal not counted – whether this was actually legit remains a matter of debate) received the ball at the left post and turned with his back to goal only to have his feet hooked by the keeper and a flick awarded. But Tom’s flick was saved!

At this point there was a concern that a break away goal might have led to an unfair outcome. But, cometh the hour, cometh the Ashley. In this own words,

‘The ball came right across goal, left to right, about 5 yards out, I arrived, completely unmarked, stopped and slapped it in. The team were all apparently expecting me to either a) fail to stop it or b)miss an open goal’.

Going two up saw hawks step off the pressure somewhat and the last 15 minutes of the game were more even with Wallingford even winning a couple of shorts. Jack Sobey was solid in game and Hawks saw the game out.

With a number of injuries and absences, the team is looking thin for next week.

 

 

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18 May

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17 May

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