South Saxons suffered a major blow to their title hopes on Saturday.
Saxons endured their first home defeat of the South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One season when they went down 2-1 at the hands of Hailsham.
Mid-table Hailsham, who Saxons had beaten twice earlier in the season, were the stronger side early on and they took a deserved lead following a penalty corner.
Saxons got on top towards the end of the first half and at the start of the second period, Gavin Cload firing them level after the initial effort from their second penalty corner of the match was saved on the line.
The hosts pushed for a winner, but had two players sin-binned and Hailsham won a penalty corner on a now rare attack which produced the winning goal as a drag flick went past man of the match George Deaves.
A full report and pictures will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.
Standings (played-points): 1 Horsham II 15-39, 2 SOUTH SAXONS 15-35, 3 Lewes III 15-31, 4 Penguin 14-29, 5 Hailsham 15-26, 6 Brighton & Hove III 14-22, 7 Eastbourne II 15-19, 8 Crowborough 14-16, 9 Middleton & Bognor 14-14, 10 Southwick 14-13, 11 Crawley II 15-10, 12 East Grinstead IV 14-0.