LX v Oxford Hawks – 25th February
LX 2 - Oxford Hawks 2
LX arrived at Oxford on a damp, overcast day to be faced by a younger, committed Oxford side that promised a stern test – and so it proved. Oxford Hawks who started the stronger, with most of the play in the LX half, deservedly went two goals up, and had it not been for some excellent positional play by Alan Dures, it could have been several more. LX stuck to their task and shortly before half time put themselves back into the game when the put out from a short corner was diverted to Greg Hutchings who scored with a first time shot across the keeper.
At half time coach Andy Barnes changed the structure of the side, and with Ken Wilcock providing a real presence in the middle, and Mike Surridge attacking strongly from right half, the team posed a greater attacking threat. The whole shape of the team improved after the interval with more depth in defence and better support for the player on the ball. Peter Crayford was a real strength at the heart of the defence, and John Maylam added solidity to the mid field. This improved performance was rewarded when Stephen Stowell, who was lively throughout, took up a good position on the left hand post to turn in a cross shot from Greg Hutchings.
After this equalising goal there were chances at both ends but no further score. It was indeed a game of two halves, with Oxford Hawks making a far stronger start and LX shading the second. In summary, it was a competitive game that was both enjoyable to play in and to watch – and it provided a very worthwhile opportunity for LX team building. A good day all round, and many thanks to the Hawks for the unfailing warmth of their hospitality.
LX:Alan Dures; Nigel Major; Mike Surridge; Peter Crayford; Ken Wilcock; Greg Hutchings; John Maylam; Norman Ballard; Stephen Stowell; Imtiaz Singh; David Gill.