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Mens 2's denied a win at the death against Basingstoke

05 March 2022, 11:45, Down Grange

Men's 2s 1 - 1 Basingstoke Men's 1s

There have been times this season when I seriously wonder whether we have upset someone really important and I do mean REALLY IMPORTANT- the week just gone being a case in point. Having started the week with only six players from the previous Saturday able to report for duty, matters got no better when, on Wednesday, Ben decided to save a goalbound shot with his head and the following day Bas announced a dose of Covid.

I won't trouble my readers with the multiple other issues that arose during the week save to say that for, arguably, our most important league game thus far this season we were still scrabbling around for a squad late into Friday night.

So it was that Hawks 2's travelled to deepest Hampshire with, inter alia, (for Brookes students that, roughly translated, means among other things) 4 debutants, 3 x 15 year olds, 1 x 14 year old and a reluctant veteran (who spent much of the warm up arguing that we really didn't need him) - "Not so, Blackadder!"

The pre match talk included a round of introductions and Dunners was so excited by the size of the whiteboard in the changing room that he managed to spill the magnetic counters with alarming frequency. However, encouragingly, the mood in the camp was buoyant. Perhaps we could teach the overpaid, prancing, prima donnas who currently turn out for Man United a thing or two about attitude and commitment.

As for the game we all knew that the home side would be up for it but the first half belonged to Hawks - literally - as Benji slotted home an early goal and we deservedly held this slender lead till half time. The second period was a different matter. Basingstoke upped their game and held the territorial advantage but were frustrated by some committed Hawks defending and an exceptional goalkeeping display from Barney, playing his first game with the pads on for about 3 years. He was finally defeated by a short corner drag flick 4 minutes from time - no need to hold a Man of the Match vote! 

Disappointing in the end but a pretty fair outcome on the overall balance of play against a well drilled and fluid home side in a game of enormous importance to both teams. I can't deny I was pretty pleased with the whole side every one of whom put in a gritty shift  - I shall be sending a video of it to Ralf Rangnick.

Well done you lot.

Marlow this Saturday - say no more.

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