Hooky complete the double over Sports in Boxing Day derby

Dan Watkin gave Hook Norton the lead at Addison Road
Dan Watkin gave Hook Norton the lead at Addison Road

Hook Norton completed the double over Easington Sports in Monday’s UHLSport Hellenic League derby.

The Division One West title chasers won 3-0 at Addison Road to follow up their midweek Oxon Senior Cup success. But, unlike Wednesday’s third round tie at The Bourne, this game was much closer than the final score line suggests.

However, Monday’s victory gave Hooky their third success between the two clubs as they maintained their title challenge. Dan Watkin made the breakthrough just before halftime, Steve Howkins doubled Hooky’s advantage with a second half penalty and substitute Luc Thornton sealed it late on.

A first half of few chances saw both defences on top with Craig Pearman and Watkin commanding at the back of their respective line-ups. Sports had a more resolute approach which frustrated Hooky for most of the first half and went closest when Watkin had to clear an effort off the line following a scramble.

But goals change games and this one was no exception. Hooky broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime when Watkin headed home Joe Eyre’s pin-point free-kick at the far post.

After the restart, Sports created a couple of chances. Tom Smith twice fired just wide from the edge of the box and Josh Northam was closed down before he could get his shot away after more good approach play from Durrell Livous.

But Hooky doubled their advantage when Livous upended Howkins in the box and the former Sports’ striker fired home from the ensuing spot-kick.

Andrew Stidder had a chance to reduce the arrears after bursting into the box but he was off target. The next goal was vital and Hooky got it when Thornton fired a superb shot into the top corner from the edge of the box to put the outcome beyond doubt.

Sports had some late chances to reduce the arrears, Stidder volleyed over and Pearman headed straight at Kurt Fox. But Hooky held firm and picked up another crucial three points for their title push.