Under 16 Boys had a difficult league game against Canterbury the week before and knew that Oxford Hawks would provide a stiff test...
The first half was very close and the boys worked hard in attack to pass the ball and also in defence to keep out a decent Hawks who played a lot of direct hits through the middle that the defence coped with well.
Toby and Jake were solid in the middle and Fergie on the right and Will S on the left always pushed up. Will S has been calmness personified this season and many of the boys could copy his approach. Too many times in this game we let umpiring decisions affect us. The game was played in good spirit between the teams but some of the GHC boys let the whistle get to them. After a very close 1st half our majority of the possession finally paid off when Charlie to scored make it 1-nil at the break.
We emerged in the 2nd half energised and keen to maximise our possession and get better outcomes in the D.
Joel, Harry and Marc linked well in the midfield and gave Lucas, Will T and Hobie a lot of attacking ball which meant a host of penetration into the D and some great saves coming from the Hawks goalie. Will managed a brace of goals with a first time shot taken well to the right of the goal and then a rip roaring under cut that hit the top of the net leaving defenders diving out of the way. At 3-0 up our discipline let us down and at times we were reduced to 9 men.
The 4th goal came from a neatly taken drag flick and then Hawks hit back scoring a scrappy goal. Connor continued his good form and saved a couple of sharp shots when we were reduced in numbers. With Jake, Toby and Fergie all off the pitch at different times the boys reacted well by going half court in defence and then hitting on the break with some well placed aerial balls. Also some great defending from Ollie L clearing a ball on the line, deflecting it over the bar. James P also made a valuable contribution working hard to track players in defence and then keeping it nice and simple and passing the ball early.
Once we got 10 and 11 players back on the pitch we clicked into life and played some of the best hockey of the season. We hit Hawks at high speed with lots of neat interplay and goals followed from Fergie (2 more) and Lucas. In total we scored 7 and Hawks managed to score a second to make it 7-2 win for us.
Some great hockey played but as discussed in the debrief this squad has to learn to react well to umpiring decisions and be positive when things don't go their way.
Plenty to work on for the squad on the training pitch and lessons to learn. If we can learn how to positively react this team can really fly.
Squad – Connor (GK), Fergie, Jake, Toby, Will S, Marc, Harry, Joel, Hobie, Will T, Charlie, Ollie, Lucas, James
Coaches – Martin & James