Home league match played on 11 December 2011.
Kicked off at 11:30 AM

Harry Mansfield bagged 5 goals in a clinical Hawks display that maintained their impressive run of league form.


The pitch was heavy and it was clear from the opening exchanges that a number of players were finding it difficult to maintain their footing. However Horndean were clearly eager to get the ball on the deck and play their usually passing game.


A number of early chances were carved out but couldn’t be converted. However the floodgates began to open after 10 minutes. Euan Condron turned on the edge of the box and fed the ball to Harry Mansfield who skipped past a couple of Castle defenders before blasting a shot that the visiting keeper could only help on its way into the net.


Barely 2 minutes later the Condron-Mansfield combination paid off again as Euan released Harry for him to slide the ball beyond the advancing keeper and double the Hawks’ lead.


The Hawks were now finding their stride. After 13 minutes a venomous strike from Jake Lynch came back off the bar but the advancing Euan Condron couldn’t convert the rebound.


It was only a matter of time before goal number 3 and this time it was captain Will Codling who rose to meet a Jake Lynch corner to head home.


Will added his second and the Hawks’ 4th after 20 minutes. Picking up a pass from Euan Condron, the Castle defence looked on in disarray as Will junked his way through and neatly beat the Castle keeper.


Chances were coming thick and fast by now and but for some excellent saves by the Castle keeper, the margin would have been much higher. Jamie Emery was providing the midfield cover that allowed Will Codling and Lewis Harrison to pull the strings in the middle of the park whilst Lewis McKerr and Jake Lynch were constant threats on the flanks.


Horndean added 2 more before half-time. The 5th came from Will Codling springing the Castle defence to release Lewis Harrison who kept his head to coolly beat the keeper from 12 yards out.


Harry Mansfield then completed an impressive first half hat-trick following a slick passing move. Euan Condron dispossessed the Castle defender and fed a pass out to Lewis McKerr who waltzed past 2 Castle players and found Harry in space in the penalty box – and he duly rifled in his third of the match.


The second half continued in much the same way as the first with chance after chance coming Horndean’s way.


After 39 minutes Will Codling’s near post cross was met by Euan Condron but his header went wide of the mark. Euan’s luck seemed to have deserted him because on any other day he would have left the field with a proverbial sackful of goals.


Perhaps Euan’s luck in front of goal has transferred to Harry Mansfield because after 42 minutes Will picked out Harry in the Castle box and he slammed home his 4th of the match. This meant that Harry had doubled his goal tally for the season in the space of 32 minutes – but he still had more to come!


With most of the match being played in the visitor’s half, any thoughts Castle had of getting even a consolation goal were few and far between. The back line of Harry Fairclough, George McBride, Daniel Nicholson-Stone and Charlie Fry were coping with all that Castle could throw at them and Hawks keeper Anthony Batchelor was rarely called into action.  


Goal number 8 for the Hawks came with 6 minutes left on the clock and once again it was Harry Mansfield who was on hand to slot home after build up play by Lewis McKerr and George McBride – both of whom were unlucky not to find the back of the net.


The Hawks’ biggest win of the season was rounded off in stunning style by Jake Lynch. With time ticking away he picked up the ball, danced through a couple of challenges and duly dispatched a crashing shot from all of 30 yards.  This was the spectacular icing on a very impressive cake!


Final score – Horndean Hawks Raptors 9, Castle United 0

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