Just as it seemed it had blown its chance of title glory, South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team is back on top of the table.
Saxons were knocked off the Sussex Open Hockey League Division One summit a fortnight ago after losing at home to a Southwick side which replaced them at the head of affairs.
But Southwick suffered a surprise defeat at home to Horsham III on Saturday and Saxons took advantage by winning away to Crawley II, putting them top on goal difference with two matches remaining.
Saxons travelled to Crawley expecting a physical game and were not disappointed. The home side started strongly and it wasn’t long before they took a surprise lead with a neat passing move.
Saxons tried to get their game back on track, but had it not been for a man of the match performance from Alex Jenner, who replaced the ever-present Mike Sutton in goal, they would have found themselves further behind.
Saxons started to put together some passing and good work from Ben Simmons on the right led to a short corner. Alex Coombs found himself in space, but the whistle blew for a penalty just as he was about to score. Unfortunately for Saxons, the penalty flick hit the post.
Chris Meredith scored a few minutes later, however, with a neat finish to level the scores going into half time.
The start of the second half saw Jamie Busbridge drive into the D only for his groin muscle to go as he was about to shoot, meaning he played no further part in the game.
Coombs then put Saxons ahead only for Crawley to respond with another goal of their own. A well-worked short corner routine then found the taker, Toby Reed, who coolly slotted home to put Saxons 3-2 up, but Crawley responded again with a goal on the break.
Coombs scored with a drag flick before Andrew Orr capped a fine performance with a fifth goal to put the game beyond Crawley. Orr later hit the post when through on goal.
Saxons’ final two games are both at home, starting with a visit from Brighton & Hove III this coming Saturday. Push-back is 1.30pm.
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