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M1's Lose Their Way in the Wind

20 February 2022, 14:00, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 1s 0 - 2 Canterbury Men's 1s

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The M1’s had been looking forward to the test of playing second placed Canterbury on Sunday, but their hopes were blown away by Storm Eunice and two second half goals for the visitors from Kent.  Hawks started brightly enough but it was the visitors who forced the first penalty corner of the game three minutes in - Chris Price making a comfortable save.  Hawks won a corner of their own four minutes later when Archie Winter and Freddie Foster combined well in the left corner - the Canterbury keeper making a similarly comfortable save.  Playing with the considerable advantage of the wind at their backs, Hawks gradually began to win the lion’s share of territory and possession and forced a succession of a further four penalty corners in the space of twelve minutes, but they could not convert - the visiting keeper making one excellent save low to his right, a defender making one goal line clearance on the left post and another one saved but falling to Ted Bennett whose follow up could only find the side netting. 

Having failed to take their chances with the advantage of the wind, Hawks inevitably found the going much tougher in the second half, which Canterbury dominated.  A flurry of early penalty corners was a sign of what was to come and only some exceptional goal keeping by Chris Price kept Hawks in the game.  Just before the three-quarter break the pressure finally told when, on the balance of play, Canterbury deservedly breached the Hawks rearguard following a move down the right and a finish from close range.  To their credit, Hawks did not let their heads drop and continued to battle both the wind and the waves of Canterbury attacks. But a second goal eventually came twelve minutes from full time when a penalty corner was drilled home to leave Hawks with a mountain to climb.  Canterbury comfortably played out the remainder of the game, an unsuccessful Hawks penalty corner with four minutes left on the clock being the home side’s only goal threat in the second half.  A game heavily influenced by the conditions in which Hawks really needed to make the most of the wind advantage in the first half to stand them in good stead for the second half.  A trip to third placed Bath to look forward to next Sunday.

Thanks to Evelyn Hargraves for the great photos.

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