South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team powered to its biggest victory of the season on Saturday.
Saxons played attacking, fast-paced hockey to overwhelm Holcombe III (2) 6-0 and consolidate third place in South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2.
Bolstered by the return of captain Paddy Cornish, who was carrying a niggling hamstring injury, Saxons pressed Holcombe from the first whistle.
The first goal resulted from a drag flick at a penalty corner. With regular flicker George Eldridge absent overseas, newcomer Alex Short converted in the bottom left corner.
The second goal came from fast build-up play with Andrew Acott finding young gun Andrew Orr, who quickly passed to Cornish and he lifted the ball past the Holcombe goalkeeper.
After Cornish was yellow carded for dissent, Saxons adopted a half court press and Holcombe attempted to press their numerical advantage by aggressively attacking the home side.
Short, however, threw an aerial ball over the aggressive Holcombe press to Lloyd Williams, who played a quick pass to Acott in the circle and he drew a penalty corner, which was slotted into the bottom right corner by Short for 3-0.
During the penalty corner play, Jamie Busbridge had a nasty clash of heads with the Holcombe post man, but both players were able to continue after a short interlude.
In the second half Holcombe pressed Saxons’ defence heavily and played dedicated high attackers looking for breakaway passes.
The home defence of Chris and Jon Meredith, Nick Taylor and Mark Short was repeatedly probed by the Holcombe attack, but Mark Short found a crucial pass under pressure on multiple occasions to eagerly waiting midfielders Acott, Toby Reed and Gavin Cload.
At this point in the game Saxons’ larger bench allowed for greater interchange, giving the home side the stamina to outrun the tired Holcombe defence.
As a result, the floodgates opened with Saxons maintaining constant pressure and relentlessly attacking the exhausted Holcombe side.
A penalty corner gave man of the match Alex Short the opportunity to secure a hat-trick, but this time his flick went wide of the right-hand post.
A multitude of opportunities were passed up with many shots missing the target or being saved by the Holcombe goalkeeper. Alex Coombs looked dangerous with multiple reverse stick shots.
From the numerous scoring opportunities, further goals came from Williams and Acott before Cornish crossed for Busbridge to round-off the scoring at the far post.
Saxons, who trail second-placed Ashford only on goal difference, will seek a third successive league victory when they travel to fourth-placed BBHC this coming Saturday.