Following some last minute changes to the side in the car park Hawks set off for the match against Northampton Saints with 9 trusting 2 would meet us at the pitch, with some swift introductions and warm up the game was on. Northampton quickly got into a well drilled distribution pattern of play. This caused Hawks some issues in identifying who was marking who. This was not helped that in the first 5 minute Paul Hood sustained a hamstring injury which required him to become a lone point man, so with another reshuffle Hawks tried to steady the flow of play and gain some possessions. Northampton launched an aerial towards the Hawks ‘D’ which was picked up by former Hawks player Phil Knights’ 15-year old son, who finished coolly in a manner that often evaded his father.
Hawks grabbed an equaliser just before the break following a breakaway attack lead by Torbs and Dave Springer which was finished by Dawson after several attempts to lift it over the keeper. Just before the half time break Tim Webster, who was playing for the 5th until drafted into the 3rds in the car park, went on a fine individual run cutting through the heart of the Northampton defence only to be denied by a fine save from their keeper.
Half time was welcomed by the Hawks midfield, who had been dragged across the park by the swift change of play by the Saints. Step up the 3rd’s versions of Sir Ben Ainsley that is Sir Torbs, who unveiled the new tactical approach that would turn the tide. Everyone was reintroduced to each other and what their role was within this new system, the change having an immediate impact. Hawks began to control possession and looked comfortable on the ball, the goals started to flow. Dave Gilbert helped himself to a hat trick, Torbs added two to this tally for the year - one after evading a sliding tackle from his own centre forward at the top of the ‘D’. Dave Springer having been denied by a fine save from their keeper earlier finished neatly after a good passage of Hawks play, the final goal came from Paul Hood who had done a sterling job of keeping the Northampton defence honest despite only having the use of one leg.
The second half performance was a timely return to the form shown by the 3rd XI last year in gaining promotion.