Saxons begin with plate win

George Eldridge was on target for South Saxons in the win over Middleton & Bognor

George Eldridge was on target for South Saxons in the win over Middleton & Bognor

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South Saxons began the new hockey season with a 5-3 victory away to Middleton & Bognor in a Sussex Plate first round tie on Saturday.

Saxons got the better of a Middleton side which will be playing two divisions below them this term having been in the same league last time out.

The Hastings club was without captain Paddy Cornish so new vice-captain Gavin Cload led a young Saxons side. Saxons started strongly and a flowing passing move involving Alex Coombs and Tim Plail ended with the latter finding Rob Whitehouse, who scored with his first touch.

Saxons grew in confidence and another quick passing move saw a Plail cross fall to Harry Reece to score his first goal for the front side. A George Eldridge drag flick from a short corner extended Saxons’ lead before a reverse stick shot from a tight angle pulled a goal back for M&B.

The second half was more even as M&B packed the midfield and pressed higher up the pitch, although a Reece shot was saved and Whitehouse tucked away the rebound for 4-1.

Two quick goals from the home side made it a nervy few minutes before Alex Coombs drilled through the Bognor defence and slipped the ball past the goalkeeper. Man of the match was Sam Bunday.

The Horntye Park-based side will visit Sutton Vallance in a friendly this coming Saturday before beginning its South Open Hockey League - Kent/Sussex Regional 2 campaign away to Sevenoaks II on Saturday October 5.