South Saxons slumped to a fourth straight defeat in their battle against the drop when they lost 3-0 at home to Mid-Sussex.
The result plunged Saxons deeper into South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2 relegation trouble as Mid-Sussex hauled themselves closer to safety.
Saxons captain Paddy Cornish felt the game was there for the taking, though, especially during the first half. He said: “We were a bit unfortunate in the first half; we were playing well, but the second half was embarrassing.
“We didn’t come out and we didn’t rise to the occasion at all. Nobody was saying much after the game either. We just need to put it in the past and move on to the next game, looking to get what we can.”
The hosts gave a good account of themselves in the early stages, enjoying the lion’s share of the play, but just lacking a clinical finish. And they were made to pay when Mid-Sussex took the lead after benefiting from a contentious umpiring decision.
Following the restart, Mid-Sussex built on their advantage, enjoying greater possession and distributing the ball far more convincingly than Saxons.
They duly doubled their lead from a short corner and put the game beyond doubt just minutes later from a slick passing move.
As Saxons’ heads dropped, the away side carved out more opportunities, but goalkeeper Stew Feakes prevented any further damage. Saxons are second-bottom of the table - one point behind third-bottom Canterbury III and above rock-bottom Sutton Valence II on goal difference.
Pictures by Steve Hunnisett and Paul Merison