South Saxons Hockey Club's men's first team produced a much-improved performance in a narrow 2-1 defeat against top-of-the-table Brighton & Hove II.
A second half strike by captain Jamie Busbridge wasn't quite enough to earn what would've been a very commendable point at home to the South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2 leaders.
Having conceded a number of early goals in their opening three league games, Saxons set out with a half court press, allowing the away side possession in their own half.
Brighton struggled to break through and created very few chances thanks to tireless work from Andy Acott, Jon Meredith and Will Orr in the middle, ably backed up by the defensive partnership of Paddy Cornish and Toby Reed.
Saxons goalkeeper Mike Sutton made a sharp save, but was then beaten by a short corner routine which put Brighton 1-0 up.
The half time talk was about doing more of the same and keeping the game tight so that Saxons could have a go in the closing stages.
Man of the match Alex Coombs gave the opposition no time on the ball and although Saxons won a succession of short corners, they weren't clinical enough to capitalise.
Brighton scored a soft goal to make it 2-0 before Gavin Cload drove to the byeline and picked out Busbridge, who applied a neat finish to pull one back.
Saxons were unable to push on for the equaliser as they tired against the superior numbers of Brighton, not helped by a yellow card to Tudor Stainsby.
Saxons will welcome back James Riley from university for the trip to bottom club BBHC tomorrow (Saturday).
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