South Saxons suffered their first away defeat of the season with a 5-2 loss against table-topping Lewes II on Saturday.
It was also Saxons’ second successive reverse in South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2, although both have come against the division’s top two teams.
Saxons captain Paddy Cornish said: “I don’t think the scoreline really reflects how the match went. We took the game to them and were in control for large periods.
“We were only a goal down at the break and we were playing with confidence. We certainly aren’t going to be the league’s whipping boys.”
The match was always going to be an uphill struggle against a youthful Lewes side. The hosts showed why they have won four of their first five matches by rapidly taking the lead and then adding another in quick succession.
Saxons kept them at bay as half time was approaching, however, and a superb diving deflection from Alex Coombs managed to pull one back before the break. Once the second half commenced, so too did the weather as a torrential shower threatened to put a dampener on the match.
The game rather slipped away from Saxons as Lewes added three more goals to their tally, although Rob Whitehouse managed to flick the ball around the goalkeeper after a perfect pass from Jamie Busbridge to score a late consolation goal. Saxons’ man of the match was Tudor Stainsby.
Saxons: Wedmore, Reece, Corner, Coombs, Burnett, Buss, Cload, Bunday, Ford, Whitehouse, Stainsby, Busbridge.