The Hawks were beaten by a very good National League side in a Behind Closed-Door Friendly as Ex-Orient Women visited the Arena on Sunday.
Despite dominating possession in the first half, the Hawks struggled to find the breakthrough before the National League side ran away with the game in the second half with a more dominate second half.
The Hawks were almost caught out in the opening minutes as Ex-Orient looked to take an early lead. Two shots came towards Chinue Ayton, but both whiskers wide of the post. Chloe Bassett looked to get the Hawks going minutes later as she tried her luck from distance, but her shot was comfortably in the hands of the visiting keeper.
Ex-Orient thought they had taken the lead 10-minutes into the game as they had the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for an earlier offside call. Despite almost being behind, the Hawks began to dominate as they looked to make the most of their possession. Georgia Box was played through but send her first-time shot wide of the target before a shot from Lindsey Morgan was tipped over the crossbar by the keeper. The resulting corner was headed towards goal by Olivia Steele, but the keeper saved her header on the line before the ball was scrambled clear.
Amy Drew looked to make an impact as she controlled the ball well before shooting, but her shot was deflected out of play by a defender. The resulting corner was again headed by Steele, towards the back post with the keeper pushing the ball off the line, but no one was close enough to poke the ball home.
As the first-half wore on, Ex-Orient began to have the bulk of the possession as they took control of the game. The ball was fed to the number 8, who had a shot, but her effort was cleared off the line by Amy Drew, before the Ayton held onto the ball. The visitors broke the deadlock in the 38th-minute as the 8 was played through and poked the ball beyond the keeper. Minutes later, the lead was doubled from Ex-Orient as the 10 got a bit of luck, holding on the ball despite a challenge from the defender and firing the ball beyond the Ayton and into the bottom corner.
As the game entered added time, the Hawks looked to pull one back. A. Trialist send a shot towards goal from distance, but it was tipped over the crossbar by the keeper. The resulting corner was fired towards the back post, but after a scramble in the area, the ball was out of play for a goal kick.
Ex-Orient came out of the blocks the quickest in the second half as they looked to extend their lead. 5-minutes into the half, the number 20 broke through the defensive line and slotted the ball beyond the keeper to extend the lead to 3-0. A minute later, they almost had four as the 19 created some space in the box but rattled her shot against the post before the ball was cleared.
A quick attack from Ex-Orient saw the 19 feed the ball to the number 15 on the left-hand side, but her effort was wide of the target before the Hawks resorted to a ball over the top to find Box, but her shot was inches wide of the far post.
The lead was extended once again as the number 38 added to the tally. She broke through the defensive line and slotted beyond Ayton. Although the visitors had extended their lead to 5-0 with 25-minutes to play, the Hawks had a foothold in the game as they looked to get on the scoresheet. Good play from Danni Jennings down the wing saw her whipped a ball in across the face of goal, but no one was close enough to tap home before Steele was played through but couldn’t make anything happen with a defender managing to pressure her and clear the ball.
Morgan and Box linked up well as the midfielder tried to set-up the forward. In the first instance, Box was caught offside as she looked to run beyond the defensive line, before her second attempt was a comfortable save for the keeper.
With little time left to play, the visitors scored their 5th of the afternoon. The number 11 found herself in acres of space and send a thunderous effort from distance into the top corner. Both sides continued to attack in the final-moments, but the referee brought the proceedings to an end at 5-0.
Photo: Lewis Murphy (@Lewis_Murphy15)