South Saxons went top of South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One via a 3-0 victory at home to Brighton & Hove III on Saturday.
Although back to full strength, at least three of the team were playing with niggling injuries and illness. Knowing the importance of nullifying the Brighton team’s strength in their midfield, the youthful duo of George Eldridge and Alex Coombs gave them no room to initiate any meaningful attacks.
Skipper Paddy Cornish and Will Orr, returning to some good form, kept the opposition defence busy with some penetrating runs. Saxons’ first goal came after a well won short corner was expertly fired home by Coombs after good work from Eldridge.
The Horntye Park-based side continued to dominate the play with slick passing and a well organised defence which meant that goalkeeper Quentin Wedmore had only one save to make all match.
The second goal for Saxons came after a driving run and shot from Coombs that ricocheted off the agile Brighton goalkeeper’s pads towards the ever-improving Charlie Campbell, who deftly slotted home.
Through the second half the home team’s superior fitness began to tell, not letting the Brighton team settle on the ball and counter-attacking with speed and accuracy. Eldridge, having one of his best games of the season, was finding his passing range with Jamie Busbridge an increasing threat.
With this kind of dominance, a third goal was inevitable. Man of the match Coombs cut through the Brighton defence and smashed the ball past their helpless goalkeeper.
The match finished with Saxons attacking a now demoralised Brighton team, who realised that their time at the top of the table was only to last for a short while. It was a thoroughly professional performance by the improving Saxons team.