Key game in Saxons’ title bid

Action from South Saxons' ladies' game against Horsham II last weekend. Picture by Simon Newstead
Action from South Saxons' ladies' game against Horsham II last weekend. Picture by Simon Newstead

South Saxons must negotiate a potential banana skin in their quest to be crowned champions.

The South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One leaders will travel to eighth-placed Hailsham tomorrow (Saturday). Saxons won 7-1 when the sides last met in December, although Hailsham had seven players carded.

Saxons captain Paddy Cornish said: “We can’t afford to let complacency creep in. I think if we can keep our level of play up and keep winning matches, nobody could say that we don’t deserve to win the league if we do do it.”

The Hastings club took another step closer to the title last weekend on the back of a comfortable 8-3 victory at home to mid-table Worthing II. Saxons started brightly against a team they drew with in the reverse fixture, settling into the passing game that has now brought them five successive wins.

After a number of chances went begging, the pressure eventually paid off with Alex Coombs slotting the ball home after some good build up play. Cornish finished off another good move by smashing the ball past the helpless goalkeeper for number two and Will Orr made it three after a nice bit of skill.

Worthing got one back just before half time with a pass and shot that appeared to ellude a number of defenders. Coombs scored his second after the break with a powerful shot and then completed his hat-trick via a mazy dribble and deft finish.

He then caused the opposition goalkeeper to deflect the ball into his own net before Cornish completed Saxons’ scoring, dribbling through the Worthing defence and coolly sliding the ball home. The visitors scored twice late on.

“It’s hard to keep playing when you’re five or six goals ahead,” Saxons captain Cornish admitted. “Two of the goals we gave away were sloppy, but they were near the end so I suppose it is a bit more understandable.”

Standings (played-points): 1 SOUTH SAXONS 18-41, 2 Eastbourne II 19-41, 3 Brighton & Hove III 19-40, 4 Mid-Sussex II 18-32, 5 Crowborough 18-32, 6 Crawley II 19-28, 7 Worthing II 18-21, 8 Hailsham 19-20, 9 Lewes III 18-20, 10 Penguin 18-19, 11 Middleton & Bognor 19-19, 12 Horsham III 19-7.