Saxons pipped in 9-goal thriller

Gavin Cload on the ball for South Saxons against Sevenoaks II on Saturday. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (fh03013a)
Gavin Cload on the ball for South Saxons against Sevenoaks II on Saturday. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (fh03013a)

South Saxons Hockey Club conceded a late goal to lose 5-4 at home to Sevenoaks II on Saturday.

Saxons were edged out by a Sevenoaks team they beat in the reverse fixture on the opening day despite holding a 3-1 lead at one stage during the second half.

The Hastings club went into this South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2 clash high on confidence following a good win over Cliftonville seven days previously.

The home team started well and opened the scoring from its first short corner, an unorthodox routine ending with Toby Reed slotting the ball home from a yard out.

Sevenoaks didn’t seem too fazed by falling behind and were soon back on level terms. Five minutes before the break, though, Saxons went back in front through a controversial goal from Rob Whitehouse which could easily have been disallowed for ‘back-stick’.

An inspirational half time team-talk from captain and man of the match Paddy Cornish fired up Saxons and Whitehouse made it 3-1 early in the second period.

Sevenoaks bounced straight back, however, with three fairly quick goals to take a 4-3 lead. Great character was shown by Saxons, in their pink away strip, to score a well-worked equaliser as a fine ball from the left by Alex Coombs was finished in trademark fashion by a sliding Jamie Busbridge.

But a relentless Sevenoaks grabbed their winner a few minutes from the end, much to the disappointment of a Saxons side which felt it deserved a point for its endeavours.

Standings (played 11 matches unless stated): 1 Blackheath & OE 28pts, 2 King’s & Alleyn’s 23, 3 Brighton & Hove II 22, 4 Crawley (10) 19, 5 Lewes II 16, 6 Sevenoaks II 16, 7 Sutton Valence II (10) 12, 8 Mid-Sussex 10, 9 SOUTH SAXONS 9, 10 Cliftonville (10) 9, 11 Canterbury III 7.