South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team suffered only its second league defeat of the season on Saturday.
Saxons were beaten 2-1 away to sixth-placed Lewes II and saw their six-point advantage at the top of Sussex Open Hockey League Division One cut in half.
The game began at a frantic pace with both sides having chances, but it was Lewes who took the lead. Alex Coombs was penalised for what looked like a clean tackle outside the D and the home team dispatched the resulting short corner into the roof of the net.
The goal appeared to give Saxons a wake-up call. They began to gain control of possession and started to create chances of their own with the electric Alex Coombs causing constant problems. Jamie Busbridge was denied by the Lewes goalkeeper in a one on one situation on the stroke of half time.
Saxons came out firing in the second half and thought they had equalised early on. Tudor Stainsby and Chris Meredith combined for Busbridge to score only to see the goal controversially ruled out for a push off the ball which no-one had seen.
To make matters worse for the league leaders, Lewes doubled their lead against the run of play shortly afterwards through another short corner despite Paddy Cornish’s best efforts in defence.
Saxons managed to pull one back to give themselves hope. Man of the match Jon Meredith played a well-weighted aerial ball down the right to Olli Beal and he then found Stainsby, who smashed the ball into the backboard.
Saxons piled on the pressure in the final moments, but could not find a way through the Lewes defence.
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