Saxons denied by late double

South Saxons Hockey Club captain Jamie Busbridge struck twice in the 2-2 draw away to Eastbourne II on Saturday
South Saxons Hockey Club captain Jamie Busbridge struck twice in the 2-2 draw away to Eastbourne II on Saturday

South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team came agonisingly close to a local derby victory on Saturday.

Saxons were 2-0 up away to Eastbourne II before conceding twice in the last five minutes and having to settle for a 2-2 draw.

The Hastings club travelled to third-placed Eastbourne high on confidence after ending the unbeaten record of Sussex Open Hockey League Division One leaders Crowborough the previous weekend.

Eastbourne started the better on their recently laid pitch, creating a couple of early chances which were seen off by Saxons centre-backs Toby Reed and Gavin Cload.

Saxons soon found their rhythm, though, and opened the scoring when good work from Andrew Orr led to a short corner routine in which Jon Meredith put the ball across for Jamie Busbridge to finish.

A second Saxons goal was not far away. A driving run from Alex Coombs led to Busbridge flicking the ball up and volleying home.

Saxons’ half time message was to carry on as they had left off, but that was not to be and a lack of discipline saw Paddy Cornish sin-binned.

Although the visitors created a number of chances through penetrating runs, there was far too much running and not enough passing which led to Saxons being pinned further and further backwards.

Eastbourne conjured up two deadly accurate finishes late on to leave Saxons still without an away win in the league.

Seventh-placed Saxons are back at home this coming Saturday against second-placed Penguin. Push-back at Horntye Park is 1.30pm.