South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team moved up to third in the league courtesy of an away victory on Saturday.
Saxons bounced back from a Sussex Cup defeat to Lewes the previous weekend by winning 4-2 against bottom side Horsham seconds in South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2.
With captain Paddy Cornish unavailable, Aussie brothers Mark and Alex Short stepped into the side, deputising at centre-back.
The game started in a scrappy fashion with Saxons looking to catch Horsham on the break, however the breakthrough proved hard to come by early on.
The Hastings side remained patient and adopted a more attacking style of play, which was rewarded when Alex Coombs played a one-two with Andrew Acott and finished well with a strike into the bottom corner.
Mark and Alex Short were composed at the back, playing the ball out to full-backs Chris Meredith and Nick Taylor, who were causing the home side trouble with driving runs on either flank.
Although Saxons appeared to be in control, the sides went in at half time level as an unmarked Horsham player smashed the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.
Saxons took the game to Horsham in the second half. Jon Meredith had time in midfield to find the front four of Acott, Coombs, Jamie Busbridge and Lloyd Williams, who were looking increasingly dangerous.
Horsham attempted to counter, but any attacks were repelled brilliantly by the Short brothers, who put in a number of strong challenges and man of the match Mark in particular made some key interceptions.
Saxons regained the lead through a trademark Busbridge finish from a yard out, and went 3-1 up after Acott ran clear of the home defence and finished expertly under the onrushing goalkeeper.
Gavin Cload, Toby Reed and Andrew Orr all worked tirelessly and broke up play well as Saxons looked to close the game out.
It looked set for a nervy end when Horsham pulled one back with five minutes to go, but Saxons almost immediately restored their two-goal cushion.
Coombs showed great speed and skill to pull clear of the Horsham defence before squaring for Williams, who made no mistake by finishing into an empty net.
Having completed the ‘double’ over Horsham, Saxons are now level on points with second-placed Ashford and just four behind leaders Kings & Alleyns.
Other than long term absentee George Eldridge, Saxons should be at full strength for the visit of Holcombe thirds this coming Saturday with Cornish returning to the side. Push-back at Horntye Park is 1.30pm.
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