South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team began its league campaign with a home victory on Saturday.
Three first half goals and one more after the break gave Saxons a 4-2 win against Horsham seconds in South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2.
With both teams eager to kick-off their campaign in the best possible fashion, the game was played at a high intensity throughout.
The visitors, fresh off a cup victory against Saxons’ second XI the previous weekend, moved well off the ball to create space, but the hosts proved more determined - passing with pace and precision, marking well and battling hard to win the loose balls.
Saxons began to take control and drew first blood midway through the first half when league debutant Lloyd Williams drilled a shot hard and low into the corner of the goal.
Composed, sensible play allowed the home side to retain possession and build attacks from the back, with marauding runs from George Eldridge and superb positioning from Chris Meredith causing problems down the left.
The second goal came when Andrew Acott latched on to a perfectly judged aerial from Alex Coombs and slotted past the goalkeeper.
A momentary lapse in defensive concentration allowed Horsham to pull one back when their forward found space in the home D and had time to pick his spot.
Saxons restored their two-goal cushion, however, from a short corner. Man of the match Sam Bunday, Paddy Cornish and Eldridge linked up expertly to make the half time score 3-1.
The home team seemed to slow in the second half, be it through complacency at the scoreline or frustration at some of the umpiring decisions going in favour of the opposition.
One official began showing cards to some of the Saxons players for minor offences, resulting in a period of the game where the home side had only nine players.
Horsham took advantage of the situation, sending players forward in a series of swift counter-attacks. They broke through when Saxons failed to pick up a forward on the back post.
The boys in blue regained their composure, though, and another defence-splitting pass from Coombs found Acott in space to make it 2-1.
A promising start to the season with a couple of areas for improvement in training, but many more positives to take away from the game and three important points on the board.
Saxons: Webster, C. Meredith, Bunday, Eldridge, Cload, J. Meredith, Williams, Cornish, Acott, Coombs, Busbridge, Taylor, Beal.
Saxons are away to Holcombe  2 this coming Saturday.