Following a couple of disheartening performances, the Phwoars were keen to show their mettle against their local rivals, Oxford Hawks (5s).
Despite missing our illustrious leader, a couple of sick-notes, and a couple of strays galivanting with the 3s in Milton Keynes, the 4s had a good-looking team; strong too.
In a theme that lasted all match, the 5s (dressed all in white) started very aggressively. The first 5 minutes had the 4s absorbing some probing questions. But the maroon men answer the questions well. It was great to have new-Dad Holder and his on-pitch partner, Harris, back solidifying the centre of defence. After the early pressure, the 4s started to retain the ball a little better, particularly through the battling Barny, energetic Oakes and skilful Will Senior. The first penalty-corner saw Barny clinically find the bottom corner. Soon after, Man of the Match Barny had a wild swing on the left-hand side of the D, and fortunately found Maidlow at the far post to turn in the shot. 2-0 at half-time flattered the 4s, who had come away from some robust attempts at tackles with their heads held high and limbs still attached.
The second half was an excellent response from the 4s to their cumbersome matches of late. There was excellent inter-play across the pitch. In particular, Adam Laird linked up brilliantly with Maidlow, Mills and Oakes. Tommy Tap-In expertly put away his obligatory 2-inch goal, before Adam got one of his own. Before the game was up, Tommy finished a lovely move with a flick into the top-corner. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for his nickname to be dropped.
Another mention goes to Phil Hargraves
for more excellent saves. And congratulations to the defence for a hard-earned clean sheet. Well done to Matt Oakes for successfully leading the team on the day. The impressive 5s must wonder how they conceded 5.
Many positives can be taken from the game for the Phwoars, as they look to mix it at the top of the league table. 3rd place play-off with Wycombe at BRN will be another crucial encounter.
Goals: Barnaby Barber, Chris Maidlow, Tom Mills 2, Adam Laird