And so the eagerly awaited derby game with OHC was finally here, and it was clear the opposition bore no resemblance to the team beaten 5-1 by Hawks in a pre-season friendly - it looked like we'd have our work cut out!
However, nerves were settled early as Hawks took the lead after only 2 minutes when Rob Manson Directed the ball into the net after a positive delivery from outside the D was left by the OHC keeper who assumed (wrongly) the ball was going dead - game on!
Hawks immediately settled into their passing game with good linkage between backs, midfield and forwards resulting in two further goals from Rob completing his hat-trick; a further goal from Will Smith made it 4-0 to Hawks at half-time.
OHC came out fired up for the second half and quickly pulled one back, 4-1 to Hawks. Fortunately this galvanised Hawks who promptly scored again shortly thereafter to make it 5-1.
With Gary Mahon imperious in defence, ably supported by Matt Rogers, Mark Stoker, George Chambers, and the highly effective, yet strangely subdued Mike Henman, OHC rarely troubled the Hawks defence. Sensing the occasion, Mike clearly decided to curb his natural exuberance, but did treat the crowd to one eyeball-to-eyeball encounter with an OHC player, and a half-hearted dissertation on the merits of one of the umpire's decisions; but the latter was merely a cameo.
Great linking play involving the midfield of Will Smith, and Richard Venables, both running box-to-box with the energy of teenagers, Daniel Bailey, Harry Best, Nick Mahon, Rob Manson and Matt Dodd ensured a steady supply of ball to the forwards who duly delivered a hatful of 2nd half goals:
Keeper Matt Tansini had to make one smart save to keep out a goal-bound shot at one point in the 2nd half but was powerless to prevent OHC scoring a second after a lapse in concentration by the defence let their forward through on goal.
When Hawks scored their ninth goal of the afternoon the crowd would have risen to their feet as one (or was it six?) had it not been for the fact they were already standing due to the lack of seating at the top pitch - committee please note!
A terrific result with all the youngsters playing their full part, and the more experienced players showing how to score some excellent goals.
The easy early roadshow continues......
Goal scorers: Matt Dodd -4, Rob Manson 3, Rich Venables and Will Smith
MOM – Matt Dodd