Saxons prevail after late winner

Tudor Stainsby on the ball for South Saxons against Gillingham Anchorians.
Tudor Stainsby on the ball for South Saxons against Gillingham Anchorians.
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South Saxons Hockey Club's men's first team picked up a much-needed second league win of the season on Saturday.

A late winner from Alex Coombs clinched a 3-2 victory at home to Gillingham Anchorians and moved Saxons up to ninth in the 12-team South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2.

South Saxons defender Chris Meredith superbly hooks the ball off his own goal-line.

South Saxons defender Chris Meredith superbly hooks the ball off his own goal-line.

After a narrow away defeat the previous weekend, Saxons were optimistic about welcoming Gillingham and were boosted by a healthy contingent of supporters.

Saxons were quick to apply the pressure, passing well out of the defence and midfield, and making strong inroads towards the attacking D.

The home side won a short corner which was converted from the top by Olli Beal into the bottom corner. Gillingham soon levelled, however, with a goal on the counter-attack finished by a man unmarked on the far post.

Chances were coming for Saxons and on one occasion man of the match Beal dragged the ball back just out of the reach of Jamie Busbridge.

Tudor Stainsby in the thick of the action.

Tudor Stainsby in the thick of the action.

Saxons were quick to press again in the second half, with the majority of the possession in the attacking third. Great runs from Coombs, Paddy Cornish and Andrew Acott all led to shots on goal, but the goalkeeper was in good form.

Saxons retook the lead from another short corner. A well-worked routine at the top of the D found Tudor Stainsby on the left slip and he launched the ball into the back of the net.

The opposition then won a short corner of their own which deflected in off a Saxons defender to level the scores once more.

Saxons pressed again and from a cross by Busbridge, Beal's deflection hit the post.

In the last two minutes, Saxons won another short corner. After a breakdown at the top, Coombs improvised and scored with an audacious reverse shot inside the near post.

Saxons saw out the final stages, despite conceding a short corner, to secure the points.

Toby Reed and Jon Meredith are unavailable for the trip to leaders Sutton Valence this coming Saturday, and James Riley has returned to university.

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