Rich Pickings for Men’s 1s in Devon
Published on 24th Oct, 2023
The M1s made the 350-mile round trip to Ashmoor in Devon on Saturday and came away with a 2-1 victory. With a large number of players once again unavailable, the game gave an opportunity for both Dominic Thelwell and Leo Mould to make their National League debuts.
Hawks started brightly, winning the ball in the press and following good work by Austin Greenlee, forced a penalty corner within the first two minutes of the game. Without a corner flicker in the line-up, Greenlee got himself on the end of a well-executed switch move to deflect the ball home from close range. Hawks continued their bright start and created good openings. However, they were unable to find the second goal their play warranted.
Early in the second quarter Greenlee and the returning Kiran Patel won the ball high up the pitch, and following an interchange with brother Raoul, Patel found himself in the circle. Playing a composed 1-2 with Greenlee, Patel finished sharply beating the GK on his near post. As the quarter wore on Ashmoor began to get a foothold in the game forcing a couple of corners and good circle penetrations, however the Hawks deep defence held firm.
The game ebbed and flowed after the half time break. However, a two-minute suspension for an innocuous infringement by Rob Dunnill just before the three-quarter time break increased the pressure on the away team.
Straight after the break, Hawks lost the ball high up the pitch and good work by Ashmoor isolated Hawks GK, Barny Barber, and allowed them to reduce the deficit to a single goal and set up a tense final fifteen minutes. Hawks continued to create circle entries with two good chances falling to Simon Hill. But the Ashmoor GK made a couple of excellent saves, and the Hawks defence was called on to withhold the increasing Ashmoor pressure. The last five minutes of the game became disjointed and frantic for Hawks, with Ashmoor forcing a penalty corner with two minutes left on the clock. But nerves were settled when the resulting effort missed the right post.
A good win for the M1s who have managed to take 12 out of the 15 points on offer from the first five games when player availability has been a major challenge. With availability looking much more consistent in the five games leading up to Christmas, the M1s will be looking to capitalise on their solid start after next week's break from action.