Oxford Hawks resumed their league campaign with a solid 3-1 win over lowly Exe. The home side got off to a flier, almost opening the scoring in the first minute, as a goalmouth scramble was cleared behind for a corner. It took Hawks 15 minutes to open the scoring from their fifth penalty corner, with Lucy Stewart’s strike being cleverly touched in by Katie Hewitt. Hawks pushed heavily for more, but some excellent defending by the travelling side kept the score at 1-0 until half time.
In the second half, Hawks upped the tempo, playing some lovely attacking hockey, switching the ball around the back, and through Bex Oakes in the middle. Their patience paid off when the ball was stopped on the line by an Exe foot, and Takara Haines stepped up to convert the resulting penalty stroke. Haines added another moments later when she drove in from the left, and showed fantastic goal focus to take an early strike from the top of the area which was perfectly placed in the bottom left. Despite the scoreline it wasn’t all one-way traffic, with Exe winning a number of penalty corners, one of which they converted with a good straight strike. They almost pulled one back five minutes later, but a fantastic one-on-one save from Jess Hughes avoid a nervous finish for the home side, who remain in third place in the Conference West.