Draw continues encouraging start

South Saxons' second team on the attack during its victory at home to Brighton & Hove fourths on Saturday. Picture by Simon Newstead
South Saxons' second team on the attack during its victory at home to Brighton & Hove fourths on Saturday. Picture by Simon Newstead

South Saxons continued their encouraging start to the new hockey season with a decent away point on Saturday.

Saxons followed their opening day win at Sevenoaks II a fortnight ago with a 1-1 draw away to a King’s & Alleyn’s side which had also won its first match in South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2.

The long drive to the London venue gave Saxons plenty of time to prepare for what they knew would be a challenge, but a youthful and well-drilled opposition met their match in an experienced Saxons defence.

Saxons’ backline held firm as they were subjected to numerous short corners, but managed to repel the advances of King’s & Alleyn’s largely thanks to some superb goalkeeping from Quentin Wedmore, who scooped the man of the match award.

The hosts did eventually manage to find a way past Wedmore, however, and headed into the break leading 1-0. Saxons continued to look solid at back in the second period, with Toby Reed and Julian Buss particularly excelling as they soaked up more heavy pressure.

In one of their few forays into the opposition half, Horntye Park Sports Complex-based Saxons managed to level the scores through a skilful drag flick from George Eldridge on the hour mark.

After a hard-fought battle, in which the visitors had been camped in their own half for vast swathes of the contest, Saxons held on for a very creditable point.

Saxons: Wedmore, Ford, Buss, Reed, Cload, Reece, Coombs, Eldridge, Cornish, Bunday, Busbridge. Sub: Whitehouse.

Standings (played-points): 1 Lewes II 3-9, 2 Sutton Valence 2-6, 3 Blackheath & OE 3-6, 4 King’s & Alleyn’s 2-4, 5 SOUTH SAXONS 2-4, 6 Crawley 2-3, 7 Sevenoaks II 3-3, 8 Mid-Sussex 3-3, 9 Cliftonville 3-3, 10 Brighton & Hove II 2-0, 11 Canterbury III 3-0.