Despite a spirited performance, South Saxons extended their winless streak to six league matches with a narrow 3-2 defeat against Crawley on Saturday.
Saxons were soon two goals behind against a physical Crawley side which occupies fourth place in South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2.
Crawley’s first goal came from Seb Watson, who struck his effort into the roof of the net after a defence splitting pass from brother Alex. The hosts bagged their second moments later when Steven Innes smashed home following a well worked team move.
Saxons, though, halved their deficit through Rob Whitehouse after a driving run into the D from Alex Coombs, who was taken out as he released the ball - an incident which went unpunished by the referee.
Crawley extended their advantage just before the break with a bizarre own goal off Saxons goalkeeper Quentin Wedmore’s foot. Saxons pushed forward after the restart, reducing the arrears quickly when Coombs fired the ball through the Crawley goalkeeper’s legs from a short corner.
An unlikely draw looked possible with five minutes to go, but the second-bottom visitors were unable to conjure up an equaliser despite mounting sustained pressure.
Saxons: Wedmore, Welch, Ford, Cload, Ford, Buss, Cornish, Coombs, Stainsby, Reece, J. Bunday, Busbridge. Subs: Whitehouse, Reed.
Standings (played-points): 1 Blackheath & OE 8-19, 2 Brighton & Hove II 8-16, 3 Lewes II 8-16, 4 Crawley 7-16, 5 King’s & Alleyn’s 7-14, 6 Sevenoaks II 8-10, 7 Mid-Sussex 8-10, 8 Cliftonville 6-6, 9 Sutton Valence II 7-6, 10 SOUTH SAXONS 7-5, 11 Canterbury III 8-0.