This was a true blood and guts affair against Witney 2s, pinging end to end with goals being smashed in at regular intervals, with much of the play being pretty agricultural to be honest, and some brutal tackles going on by both teams. This was a pretty tricky match to umpire and the fact only one green card was shown indicates the laissez-faire attitude of the guys in yellow; they effectively let us get on with it and this was accepted by both sides. No criticism of them at all.
Getting to Witney was like entering Kingston-upon-Thames at Christmas time i.e. gridlocked, which was slightly surprising, and we entered the submerged Wood Green School and began the battle. Back to our usual line up with science teacher Keeling at the helm and new boy Oli, sporting a bust finger from his first foray with us and an interesting blond rinse in his hair, along with two subs on the bench, both wearing 1980s puffa jackets straight out of a Wham! video; the pilot having already made the Newbury HC mums blush with his graphic details of his previous night’s exploits.
In the pre-match team talk in contrast, I had scathingly brought up our front line’s impotency … in front of goal and they duly took note by sniffing around the pads of their keeper, namely one Eric ‘the Viking’ Best. We were indebted to Boggs Jnr in goal and he deservedly took the Man of the Match award, despite shipping in four goals, but he was positively Tim Krul-like making save after save as Witney repeatedly hit us on the break as we pushed relentlessly on forward. This is seemingly hard on Robin who scored a hat-trick and Reuben who in 70 minutes doubled his tally for the whole of last year. Who knew he could hit the ball that hard? Maybe he’s bought his first adult stick. Jasper hit his short corners as if he had a pitching wedge in his hands and although we went 5-2 up with ten minutes to go, their giant skipper Tom scored a couple of late goals to make it a tense finale, but Hawks held out for a hard fought three points.