It looked like the first league game of this season was fated. First, we couldn't get inside the pitch, and during the many phone calls being made by the Oxford 7's, we found out they were dropping out of the league.....still we carried on. The large Hawks squad was an indication of the strength of Hawks generally, but a large bench doesn't always mean "good" at our level!!
We will have to use the numbers we have to our advantage, and learn to sub on and off better, and make it a strength.
The Oxford team clearly had something to prove as this was probably last time they would play..
And so it seemed,..... they had a mobile forward line who kept the Hawks back four working hard, in contrast to the Hawks forwards who appeared to be practicing for a synchronised swimming contest and had little or no connection to the Hawks midfield for the first part of the game.
Eventually it was the rusty Spittles who managed to get a foot on an incoming hit into the D that deflected past Callum. 0-1 despite lots of possession, but to be fair, Callum had already made some excellent saves showing why he has got through to HIPAC.
The half time chat asked for more front line movement back, and quicker passing at the back from the skipper, and the team started to gel. Paul Scragg began to show his class and moved the ball around well, which seemed to settle everyone, and Mark Shirley managed to get us back all square. Moments later, the irrepressable Charles Darby put Hawks in front from an excellent through ball by Jonny Florey who ended up having a great game.
Hawks now had most of the play, with some neat passing movements and debutant Robbie Scragg began to make more of an impact up front, by keeping possession and using the ball well. Against the run of play Hawks then conceded again and it looked like the Oxford team would bow out on a draw, but some great passing by Hawks, culminated in a great bit of skill by Robbie, who manged to control a looping ball by the Oxford goal and calmly slotted in his first and Hawks 3rd for the winner.
Shame it wasn't worth 3 points..onwards and upwards - Newbury 3rds next week.