Men’s 1s go missing
Published on 09th Oct, 2023
The M1’s failed to turn up on Sunday despite making the trip to Bristol to take on Clifton Robinsons in EHL West Conference.
After a bright start to the season, Hawks seemed off the pace from the start of this game and conceded a goal in the sixth minute which was far too easy for Clifton - an aerial pass finding a forward in acres of space and with the time to pick out a cross for Ben Stone to turn home a simple deflection. The home side were allowed to pass in and out of midfield pockets almost at will and the normally reliable Hawks press never really applied pressure to the ball. Clifton missed a couple of golden chances to extend their lead and Barny Barber in the Hawks goal was alert to make a couple of smart saves to ensure that the lead was contained to a solitary goal at the half time break.
A strong ball carry and shot by Jack Hobbs in the opening minute of the second half hinted at better things to come. But two minutes later, a lapse of concentration and cheap turnover deep in the Hawks half gifted Robbies a simple second goal. This seemed to galvanise Hawks and some sustained passages of play eventually led to Ed Ellis forcing the first penalty corner of the game in the forty fifth minute. Dan Andrews’ shot at goal struck the runner to force a retake and at the second time of asking Hawks reduced the arrears when Simon Hill was on hand to force the ball over the line after the initial shot was saved. However, Hawks proved to be masters of their own downfall when literally within a minute they allowed Clifton to move the ball the entire length of the pitch to retake a two-goal lead.
Hawks discipline started to deteriorate and preoccupation with umpiring decisions became an unnecessary and unwanted distraction. Two-minute green card suspensions for Hobbs and Greenlee did not help their cause but Hawks continued to press, and one smart move created an opening for Hobbs, but his shot was high and wide. While Hawks mostly blustered, the home side created several goal scoring chances themselves in the final quarter and could easily have extended their lead with greater accuracy in the Hawks circle. All in all, a limp and flat performance by the M1’s and greater resolve will be required to get their campaign back on track when Cheltenham visit BRN next Saturday afternoon.