Saxons hit rivals for six to go third

Alex Coombs on the ball during South Saxons' 6-2 win against Canterbury Pilgrims. Pictures by Simon Newstead

South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team moved up to third in the table courtesy of a 6-2 victory at home to Canterbury Pilgrims.

South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2’s leading scorers took their league goal tally for the season up to 70 after a third successive emphatic home win.

Jon Meredith in possession in the Horntye Park sunshine.

Saxons played dominant hockey during the first half, maintaining possession and pressuring the away side relentlessly.

Saxons banged in four goals without reply before the break and Canterbury had very few opportunities thanks to excellent defensive work by the Saxons backline of George Eldridge, Alex Short, Will Orr and Chris Meredith.

The opening goal was scored by Andrew Acott. Following good build-up play through the midfield, a pass found Acott, who beat the advancing goalkeeper with an excellent reverse stick shot.

The second goal came soon after the first thanks to a piece of masterful play from Alex Coombs. After intercepting the ball just over the halfway line, Coombs surged forward and then along the back line before popping the ball over the sliding goalkeeper into the net.

Mark Short blocks the path of a Canterbury Pilgrims opponent.

Drag flick specialist Eldridge capitalised on one of the few corners earned by Saxons with a clinical flick into the top right-hand corner.

Will Orr closed out the first half scoring frenzy with a skilful piece of play which ended in a spectacular reverse shot that was too good for the Canterbury goalkeeper.

After half time Canterbury regained composure and held possession far more effectively than they had during the opening period. With only one substitute, Saxons began to tire and Orr received a green card for a poorly executed tackle.

Canterbury pulled a goal back with some fast passing around the stagnant Saxons defence and also scored a neat deflection goal off a hit from just outside the 25-yard line which caught Saxons’ defence on its heels.

Gavin Cload and Jamie Busbridge were able to bring the fight back for Saxons, netting a goal each in the second half to complete the scoring.

Cload, who usually plays midfield or defence, found himself in the attacking circle with space to move and carried the ball strongly, drawing the goalkeeper into an early challenge and slipping it past his left foot.

Busbridge capitalised on another error by the under siege Canterbury goalkeeper. After the goalkeeper saved the first shot, his clearance went straight to the waiting Busbridge, who slammed the ball into the back of the net.

Saxons, who are only a point behind second-placed Old Williamsonians, are at home again this coming Saturday, against fifth-placed Southwick.

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