HOCKEY: Worthing stay on course for the title

WORTHING captain Matt Ansell was delighted with his side's 2-1 win on Saturday at fellow Kent/Sussex Regional League title-chasers Blackheath.

A victory for Blackheath would have seen them overtake Worthing, who now stay a point clear of second-placed Eastbourne with two games to play.

Ansell said: "It was a fantastic win and I'm really pleased. We've played really well in the last two games to beat Eastbourne and Blackheath.

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"Everything went to plan on Saturday. Our aim was to play tight defensively and hit them on the counter-attack with our pace.

"The game opened up in the second half and we got our two goals and could have scored more, before they got a late one back. It was a fully-deserved win in a good game played in good spirit."

In the first half, Worthing's Dan Ginnaw had a one-on-one opening saved, and Worthing keeper Chris Binns made an excellent save from a short corner.

Worthing opened the scoring when Ansell crossed for Australian Grant Sawyer to net his 12th goal of the season, since making his debut in January.

Ginnaw doubled the lead with five minutes left after outstanding play from Cirdec Atkinson.

Blackheath pulled a goal back but there was little time left and Worthing held on for the crucial three points.

Ansell said: "Grant got a really good goal and was the best player on the pitch, with his attitude and work-rate.

"He's been brilliant since joining us at Christmas.

"Dan Ginnaw also had a very good game, and got a good goal."

Worthing now travel to Old Bordenians on Saturday, and Folkestone on April 18 knowing that two wins will clinch the title.

Ansell said: "We drew at home to Old Bordenians and they are a really good side, who ran Eastbourne close at the weekend.

"This season they've just been inconsistent, but we can't choke on Saturday."

Worthing are without unavailable keeper Binns, so Kieron Jones could go in goal. Andy Moore is also unavailable, but Mark Humphries could return from injury.

WORTHING: Binns, Shepherd, Godber, Beales, Williams, Massie, Warner, Burriss, Sciandro, Ginnaw, Sawyer. Subs: Atkinson, Clayton, Ansell.

Penguin remain fifth in Division 1 after a 3-2 win at South Saxons, which ensured a top-six finish.

Captain Dave Matthews opened the scoring in the eighth minute, before he beat two players and rounded the keeper to add his second on 15 minutes. Rupert Ireland added the third five minutes before half-time when he deflected in a short corner.

Saxons changed their formation after the break and pulled two goals back in quick succession but Penguin held on.

Matthews said: "I was very pleased with the result. It was a mid-table battle and we came out on top."

In the same division, Southwick went down to a 4-2 defeat at fellow-strugglers Middleton.

Littlehampton trailed 5-1 at half-time before losing 6-4 at Worthing 4th in Sussex League Division 1.

Slick attacking from Worthing saw them take a 3-0 lead before Littlehampton pulled a goal back when Simon Judd netted after Jon Miles' shot was saved.

Worthing added another two goals before half-time but Littlehampton got the score back to 5-4.

Goals from Steve Jenkins, Miles and Judd got Littlehampton back into the game and they nearly levelled when Dave Clark shot narrowly wide after an excellent individual run. But Worthing then added a late sixth to kill the game off.


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