Next three games to define title bid

South Saxons captain Jamie Busbridge on the ball in last season's fixture at home to St Francis
South Saxons captain Jamie Busbridge on the ball in last season's fixture at home to St Francis

The next three games are likely to define the season for South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team.

That’s the view of captain Jamie Busbridge as Sussex Open Hockey League Division One leaders Saxons prepare for a trio of matches which include meetings with the teams lying second and third.

After the visit from ninth-placed St Francis tomorrow (Saturday), Saxons will go to third-placed Hailsham next weekend and host second-placed Southwick on March 5.

Last weekend’s 2-1 defeat away to Lewes II has cut Saxons’ advantage over Southwick to three points, although they do possess a far superior goal difference. Hailsham are a further four points off the pace.

Busbridge said: “This weekend, and then Hailsham away and Southwick at home, that’s our season really. If we win those three, we’ll be in a very strong position.

“We’ve got to make sure there are no slip-ups this weekend and then Hailsham away is massive to maintain the gap to Southwick. We’re going to be under pressure if the gap is closed.”

Although beaten for only the second time this term last weekend, Saxons were pretty pleased with how they performed against Lewes.

“We were happy with how we played,” continued Busbridge. “They had a better side out than they were expected to field - there were definitely a couple of very good players who we didn’t see first time round that made a big difference - but we raised our game.

“We still should’ve been good enough to beat the team that was in front of us and we deserved to get at least a draw out of it, but we didn’t take our chances as we should’ve done and a couple of decisions didn’t go our way.”

Saxons were 3-2 winners in November’s reverse fixture against St Francis. Tomorrow’s return match at Horntye Park will get under way from 1.30pm.

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