First half blast sinks Saxons

Action from South Saxons' second team game against East Grinstead thirds on Saturday. Picture by Simon Newstead
Action from South Saxons' second team game against East Grinstead thirds on Saturday. Picture by Simon Newstead

Four first half goals condemmed South Saxons Hockey Club to a 4-1 loss away to Cliftonville on Saturday.

Saxons had made the arduous two-hour trek to Thanet in the hope of replicating their comprehensive 6-2 win over the same South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2 opponents early last month.

It was not to be, however, as the visitors were slow out of the blocks and found themselves three behind inside 20 minutes, with a fourth goal added by half time.

Saxons did rally following the restart with James Bunday slotting home from close range after a goalmouth scramble to hand his side the half on an otherwise disappointing afternoon.

Saxons captain Paddy Cornish said: “They started very quickly and the game was beyond us by half time. I had a bit of a rant then, and we came out and played with passion, winning the half.

“I don’t know whether it was the occasion of it all, as we need to start getting results, or if it was the two-hour journey. We were just very slow.”

Saxons lie second-from-bottom with just five games remaining and next up is a home clash against similarly struggling Mid-Sussex on Saturday. Saxons will have to make do without the injured Rob Whitehouse (dislocated shoulder) and Jamie Busbridge (hamstring).

Standings (played-points): 1 Blackheath & OE 16-40, 2 King’s & Alleyn’s 15-30, 3 Crawley 15-30, 4 Brighton & Hove II 16-27, 5 Lewes II 16-23, 6 Sevenoaks II 15-22, 7 Cliftonville 15-17, 8 Mid-Sussex 16-16, 9 Canterbury III 15-13, 10 SOUTH SAXONS 15-12, 11 Sutton Valence II 15-12.