South Saxons went down 5-1 at home to runaway South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One leaders Lewes II.
Saturday’s defeat - Saxons’ second in succession on home territory after going unbeaten there for nearly two years - means that the Hastings club drops two places to fourth in the table.
Saxons were 2-0 down at the break and conceded a third before they even touched the ball in the second half. Jamie Busbridge pulled one back to give them hope and Dave Draper hit the bar with a trademark drag flick.
But Lewes sealed victory with two goals in the last five minutes, although Saxons were convinced that the provider of the final goal controlled the ball with the wrong side of his stick.
Captain Peter Watters said: “Five-one sounds like we were well and truly beaten, but we really weren’t. They definitely deserved to win, but we played superbly. I couldn’t have asked for any more.”
A full report will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.
Standings (played-points): 1 Lewes II 14-42, 2 Lewes III 14-29, 3 Penguin 14-29, 4 SOUTH SAXONS 13-28, 5 East Grinstead IV 13-25, 6 Brighton & Hove III 15-18, 7 Middleton & Bognor 14-16, 8 Southwick 15-16, 9 Crowborough 15-13, 10 Worthing III 15-11, 11 Eastbourne III 14-11, 12 Crawley II 14-8.