South Saxons Hockey Club’s first team suffered a second successive defeat on Saturday.
Having been beaten away to Sussex Open Hockey League Division One leaders Crowborough the previous weekend, Saxons were edged out 3-2 at home to second-placed Eastbourne II.
The local derby at a sunny Horntye Park promised to be a feisty encounter and that promise was quickly fulfilled as Saxons were quickly woken up by some heavy tackles and a palpable tension built up between the two teams.
The visitors capitalised on a defensive mistake to take an early lead and doubled their advantage from a short corner soon afterwards.
Although Alex Coombs was sent to the sin-bin for dissent near the end of the first half, Saxons managed to pull one back just before the break through a well-taken goal by Harry Reece following a perfectly executed pass from Tudor Stainsby.
Saxons battled back hard after half time and began to create some good opportunities only for Eastbourne to restore their two-goal lead with a breakaway goal.
Strong defending and the return of Coombs in the middle meant Saxons managed to regain some control. James Bunday scored from a short corner to make it 3-2, but Eastbourne held on. Man of the match was Sam Bunday.
Saxons will hope to get back to winning ways when they travel to Penguin this coming Saturday.
Saxons: Feakes, S. Bunday, Buss, Burnett, J. Meredith, C. Meredith, Cload, Coombs, Stainsby, J. Bunday, Busbridge, Reece.