South Saxons enjoyed a useful workout on Saturday after a four-week festive break.
Although South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One leaders Saxons lost 3-2 away to Ashford II, the friendly fixture was considered to be a very useful workout.
Despite trialling a new formation against a team which tops the equivalent-standing South Hockey League Kent Area - Division One, Saxons settled quickly during a fast paced start to the game.
Toby Reed played a pass through the Ashford midfield to man of the match Alex Coombs (pictured), who drove past two defenders and clinically slotted the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs for an early Saxons lead.
Ashford levelled soon afterwards as a result of some good passing play and the turning point came in the form of a rather harsh call of a penalty stroke in favour of Ashford after what appeared to be a very good tackle.
Saxons kept playing good hockey in the second half, and created some good chances through Jim Towers and Will Orr. But despite George Eldridge making a last gasp tackle, Saxons conceded soon afterwards to go 3-1 down.
This did not stop them creating chances and their persistence paid off as Saxons pulled one back when Gavin Cload, having run almost the length of the pitch, tapped home a dangerous cross from Orr.