The Hawks Men’s 1st XI put the memory of last week's draw at home to Worthing in the rear-view mirror, as they secured a narrow victory away to local rivals Old Georgians, coming away with a 4-3 win. With Hawk’s legends lining up in the away end to watch the clash, there was tension in the air as daylight faded, and The Hawk’s took to the turf for an evening battle under the lights in Weybridge.
It was the home side who created the best chances early on, and looked to make their home advantage pay, dominating the early exchanges. The deadlock was broken when a ball cleared off The Hawk’s goal-line was sent straight back to their centre forward, a rare error from full back Rob Stevenson, for him to hammer it back goalward and out of Baco’s reach. The home side then doubled their margin, converting a short corner to make it 2. But The Hawk’s had started to create chances of their own too. Having returned from further specialist injury treatment in the Alps earlier in the week, it was Will Taylor who stepped up to put The Hawk’s on the scoresheet soon after, showing the travelling fans that he still knows his way around the pitches at his alma mater, and halving the deficit. As the half drew to a close, The Hawks were on the hunt for an equaliser, and it came through Skipper, and top goal scorer, Matthew Chappell.
It was the away side who looked the stronger in the second half, taking the game to Old Georgians, and putting them under increasing pressure, much to the delight of the Manor Lane Faithful who were making themselves heard on the sidelines. But a breakaway goal for the home side saw them retake the lead. Unperturbed, The Hawks continued to turn the screw, with the forward line causing havoc amongst the home defence, and forcing a number of strong saves from the keeper. With The Hawk’s defence looking controlled and composed, a team goal that started at the back saw Ed Fileman linking nicely with the midfield, and driving forwards to find Chappell in the D, who turned and found Lawrence Oldham arriving at the back post in his inimitable style. Oldham's goal was quickly followed by a short corner, and despite a strong save from the initial strike, the home keeper could do nothing to keep out Nick Browning on the rebound.
Now leading for the first time in the game, The Hawk’s set out to put the game to bed. The last 5 minutes, and it was end to end action. As the crowd looked on, moments left in the contest, The Hawks produced their best chance of the night. An overload down the right, Alex Taylor carved through the back line, slipped it left to Joe Jones, a slide rule pass through to his Skipper that eliminated the keeper, across the goal to a wide open Jorden Thorne, and an opportunity seemingly impossible to miss… Time. Space. An empty net...
The game ended 4-3 to The Hawks. 3 points, and a score settled between two old foes.
After his Man of The Match performance, we spoke to Ed Fileman to find out how he’s settling into life as a Hawk. “It was a great performance today from the lads. I’m feeling really settled, and was great to see such fantastic travelling support here for us too". When pushed on how he felt about winning Man of the Match, he said “I’m really pleased to win this today. As I said, I’m feeling settled here as a Hawk, and it’s nice to get voted for this by the boys today. Best game in green apparently, so yeah, I’m very pleased, and just want to keep going and see us all progress and improve.”
The Hawks face Guildford in their next game, arguably their most important match of the season. A chance to topple the league leaders, and right the wrongs of the away fixture. The Ladies 1s will take on Wimbledon at The Nest at 1pm, directly followed by the Men at 3.