Top of the Table Clash for Hawks L1s
Published on 04th Feb, 2023
First league match back after Christmas saw a top of the table clash for Hawks. With some stunted preparation with the cold weather and a journey to Bath to content with, Hawks needed to get their heads in the game.
The quality of the game from the outset was worthy of a top of the table clash, with Hawks just 2 points behind Bath at the top of the league. Winning this would see Hawks claim top spot. Bath started strong, attacking the Hawks defence who stood firm – keeping tackles outside the D, cleaning up well, and making sure no corners were conceded. Hawks started to build their game getting up into Bath’s D on a number of occasions but were stumped by a series of robust Bath tackles. The score remained nil nil at quarter time.
Some more promising Hawks attacks came in the second quarter, with Cita Haines pressing high cut out a pass between Bath full backs to mount an attack. The eventual rebound falling to Catherine Reaney who sent a shot town the pipe but was deflected round the post. This marked a step change in Hawks pressure on the Bath D, including an attach down the left-hand side of the pitch, with Becky Hibbert beating a player to pass in for a deflection from ‘Tiny’ Claire Werlinger which went just wide.
The third quarter really ramped up the pressure with this critical game not yet having any score line. The first goal on the scoreboard was a sorry affair for Hawks, with a skillful breakaway attack from Bath coming dangerously through the middle of the pitch and them getting a solid shot away. Emma Page saved the shot, with the rebound falling to Bath. A perceived bath foot in the D led to a momentary lapse in concentration, no whistle came, and Bath gently reverse flicked the ball towards the goal. It heartbreakingly bounced past Hawks defenders and Goalkeeper Emma Page. Bath piled on the pressure, attacking down the middle of the pitch to win a corner. The resulting goalmouth scramble led to the ball trickling in, leaving Hawks 2-0 down.
Going into the final quarter 2-0 down, Hawks were focused and relentless not wanting to walk off the pitch without those much needed 3 points. No ball played to a Bath player went un-hunted, Hawks pressing well and attacking at every opportunity. Player of the match Emma O’Nein was tireless in her pressure, leading the way with her efforts. With 10 minutes to go, Hawks turned up with a lovely attacking sequence up the right-hand side and winning a short corner. Hawks played it hard in which the keeper saved, but Reaney on the hunt at the keeper’s pads picked up the rebound and slotted it home to put Hawks on the scoresheet.
Hawks were energised and followed up with another passing attack which fell to Cita Haines this time slotting a shot past the Bath keeper. The remainder of the game Hawks had to remain strong at the back, with Sally Clark putting in fantastic tackles to thwart Bath’s skillful players. Leaving the score and equal 2-2. Not the three points and top of the table outcome Hawks were after, but a good fight back for the point! All still to play for through the remainder of the season.