The atrocious weather had followed us from Oxford for the start of the match and after a lengthy delay to the start of the match, the end of the warm up was written off by hail and rain. Hawks huddled in the dugout and tried to get fired up for a win.Kudos to Sophie B and Sophie D who rushed away from the 4s game to bench for us and got hailed on twice!
The first ten minutes saw Reading press and the 3s bravely defended. Lacking many regular players, Hawks took time to settle into playing with several new faces (thanks to Katie, Louisa, and Polly for helping out and great to see Claire and Jacs back for a match).
Evelyn made a fabulous save from a Reading short corner. Reading’s pressure paid off and in the 15th minute they took the lead. This was disappointing as it was a result of a break from our short corner which we hadn't managed to convert. Evelyn again kept us in the game when she faced two reading forwards (again a break from their own half) but she managed to foil what seemed to be a certain goal. Our forwards had been making headway against the Reading defence and with a minute to go before half time Polly managed to slot the ball in the goal from a well worked team attack, popped back from the back line by Sophie B. The half time talk worked and the re-start saw us much more composed, passing the ball around, running into space and within a few minutes of the start we were ahead, again thanks to an ice-hockey inspired first touch strike from Polly. The defenders settled well and there were many attacks on the Reading goal. We were playing the ball around the back, down the wings and had a number of attempts on goal. There was a long spell of solid possession in which Hawks looked likely to score again, but things didn't quite come together.
Our second half performance was very good, and our players looked for passes. Katie Merrick was awarded Player of the Match for her solid and supportive performance in centre mid, but overall it was a very good team display, especially in the second half.