Super Saxons knock leaders off their perch

Sam Bunday blocks the route to goal of an Ashford attacking player. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Sam Bunday blocks the route to goal of an Ashford attacking player. Pictures by Simon Newstead

South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team put in a fantastic display to win 4-2 at home to Ashford and knock the Kent side off the top of the table.

Fifth-placed Saxons scored three second half goals to make it 10 points from their last four South Hockey League Kent/Sussex Area - Regional 2 games.

Nick Taylor on the ball during South Saxons' 4-2 victory.

Nick Taylor on the ball during South Saxons' 4-2 victory.

Saxons came out the blocks hard and immediately had Ashford on the back foot. They made their early pressure count as some good work from Alex Coombs led to a short corner that George Eldridge dispatched low to the goalkeeper’s right.

Saxons continued their positive approach and had chances to extend their lead. Ashford began to come back into the game as the first half progressed, but were continually frustrated by Saxons’ defensive quartet and Mike Sutton between the sticks.

Saxons went down to 10 men for the latter stages of the half, though, and despite two fine saves from Sutton, the ball fell kindly for Ashford attacker to prod home the equaliser.

The Hastings outfit started strongly once again in the second half and a slick short corner routine enabled Jamie Busbridge to slide the ball past the Ashford goalkeeper for a 2-1 lead.

Jon Meredith in possession as Gavin Cload looks on in the background.

Jon Meredith in possession as Gavin Cload looks on in the background.

Ashford came back fighting and Saxons struggled to get out of their own half for a while. A number of crucial blocks and fine saves from short corners meant the scoreline stayed in Saxons’ favour.

Just as Saxons seemed to be changing the momentum of the game, the ball made its way fortunately to an unmarked Ashford attacker, who swept it home to level the scores at 2-2 with 15 minutes left.

Either side could have taken the lead thereafter, but it was Saxons who did hit the front. Some fine work by Busbridge on the baseline won a short corner, from which Eldridge thundered a shot past the goalkeeper.

Saxons didn’t step off the gas and put the game to bed with a fourth goal. Nick Taylor and Coombs combined to win another short corner, which Eldridge dispatched into the top corner to seal the victory.

Man of the match could have gone to the whole team, but was awarded to Taylor. Saxons will be hoping for more of the same when they travel to new league leaders Kings & Alleyns this coming Saturday.