HOCKEY: Sawyer nets again for Worthing

WORTHING Hockey Club remain top of the Kent/Sussex Regional League with their unbeaten run still intact after a 2-0 victory over struggling Herne Bay.

The game did not produce the emphatic victory that Worthing maybe expected as they came across a battling and spirited Herne Bay side at St Andrew's.

But Worthing also failed to convert their dominant possession and short corners into goals.

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Worthing captain Matt Ansell praised his side's persistence to keep at their opponents, and to pick up another important victory. He said: "Overall, I was very pleased with the result and the performance.

"In terms of the match, we were dominant throughout and restricted Herne Bay to one short corner as their only attempt on goal.

"We look solid defensively and had so many short corners, but we missed Alex Warner's ability to put the ball in the net from the set piece.

"At times, it was frustrating and it felt like we would not break them down but we kept going, kept creating chances, and eventually got the rewards."

Worthing started well and had Bay on the back foot from the off. But sloppy finishing and poor decision making in the final third meant the game remained scoreless at half-time.

The assured and assertive defending of Worthing's Joel Shepherd and James Godber mopped up anything that came their way, which left keeper, Chris Binns largely redundant.

Andy Williams went forward well from right-half and linked with the two Aussies, Ben Burriss and Grant Sawyer, in what looks like a blossoming right-sided triumvirate.

The breakthrough came midway through the second half when Cirdec Atkinson popped up to force the ball home.

This settled Worthing down and more chances came during a spell of free-flowing hockey.

Shepherd was denied by a double save before the game was made safe when Sawyer collected the ball in the D, and managed to dig out a low flick into the far corner for his sixth goal in three first-team games.

Worthing still lead the table by a point from second-placed Eastbourne, but are now eight points clear of third-placed Blackheath.

On Saturday, Worthing travel to fifth-placed Marden Russets, who have lost their last two games.

WORTHING: Binns; Shepherd, Godber; Williams, Sciandro, Beales; Burriss, Ansell; Sawyer, Atkinson, Humphries. Subs: Ramiz, Lock, Ginnaw, Massie jnr.

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