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Men's 4's thwarted by spirited MK comeback

26 March 2022, 14:00, Woughton Playing Fields

Men's 4s 3 - 3 Milton Keynes Men's 3s

A spirited comeback from Milton Keynes 3’s saw Oxford Hawks Men’s 4’s succumb to a 3-3 draw. Despite holding a 3-0 lead, the visitors simply couldn’t hold off MK in sweltering conditions.

Milton Keynes – fighting relegation – had Hawks under pressure from the first whistle. They pressed high and made it difficult for a makeshift defence to play the ball out safely. Still, Hawks did manage to catch Milton Keynes on the break with frequency – much like their fixture against Leighton Buzzard last week – resulting in numerous goalscoring opportunities.

Hawks would take the lead through a penalty corner routine, with hard-hitting Luke Piper returning the ball to Matt Oakes from the top of the D to deflect in to the goal. Another penalty corner soon followed for the 4’s – this time Luke Piper stepped up to finish. His finessed flick rather took everyone by surprise, given his ability to simply throttle the ball into the goal.

Fortunately for Hawks Milton Keynes began to panic and forced the ball a little too much, meaning Hawks would comfortably see out the remainder of the first half 2-0 ahead.

Despite loosing Will Senior early in the second half to a head injury, Hawks grabbed themselves another goal to open up a comfortable lead. Some excellent link up play between Luke Piper and George Guillain saw the latter nonchalantly dribble past two defenders and the opposition goalkeeper before flicking the  ball over the line. At 3-0, you could be forgiven for thinking Hawks were home and dry.

But the third goal seemed to spur Milton Keynes in to action and the opposition seemed determined to at least salvage some pride from this fixture. Their high press continued to force mistakes from Hawks and, eventually, a series of penalty corners followed. Despite the heroic efforts of Phil Hargraves, Milton Keynes managed to scramble the ball over the line to make t 3-1. Their tails were well and truly up. Unfortunately for Hawks, momentum was with the home side and their worst fears were confirmed when in the next five minutes or so they would draw level with similarly scrappy finishes.

Still Hawks are to be commended for managing the game well in the closing five minutes and for coming away from Milton Keynes with a point. The result condemned the opposition to relegation. Unfortunately for the 4’s it also means 3rd place in the league is unattainable, but what a thoroughly enjoyable season it has been with one more home fixture to battle out against Oxford.


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