South Saxons Hockey Club's men's first team conceded two late goals to suffer an agonising defeat on Saturday.
Saxons saw a 3-2 lead turn into a 4-3 loss at home to Mid Sussex, although they do at least remain just inside the top half of South Hockey League Kent/Sussex Area - Regional 2.
It is a sign of how far Saxons have come that they are not just targeting staying up, but delivering a result each week. To feel that this should have been a win shows the distance they have already travelled.
Saxons looked to set an early pace and control the match from the outset. Saxons created chances and dominated Mid Sussex by pressing them when they had possession.
The workrate paid off when Paddy Cornish laid a ball through to Jamie Busbridge, who earned a short corner, from which Olli Beal scored via his well-rehearsed flick routine.
Saxons continued to work hard and it wasn't too long before Saxons made their efforts count again. A ball from Alex Coombs found Cornish, who turned well to fire home a tidy finish from an awkward angle.
The distance between the sides looked to be widening at this point, but from almost nowhere the away side got back in the game from a short corner.
That goal seemed to distract Saxons from their gameplan and a Mid Sussex equaliser soon followed from another short corner. The 2-2 half time scoreline had seemed unlikely for much of the first half.
Saxons started brightly in the second period and with the midfield working hard, they were finding great space out wide.
A beautiful move resulted in Saxons pulling ahead again. Andrew Acott slipped the ball to man of the match Dan Burnett, who drove into the D and neatly laid it back for Acott to apply a superb finish.
Saxons went close again with a near identical effort, while the Mid Sussex goalkeeper kept his team in the game and allowed them to counter with confidence.
Another short corner saw Mid Sussex level with little time left and then disaster struck when the by now nine-man Saxons (with two players carded and sin-binned) were hit by an aerial attack which ended with the ball being neatly swept in past the advancing Brock Jonssen-Smith to break the home side's hearts.
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