Tough but winnable game ends in 6-3 defeat but Saints show plenty of grit

St Francis were expecting a tough but winnable league game at Crawley on Saturday and although it was close, they were destined for disappointment.

Hockey. St Francis II v Crowborough. Pic Steve Robards
Hockey. St Francis II v Crowborough. Pic Steve Robards

Both sides had early chances but Crawley took a 2-0 lead.

Saints needed to show plenty of character when Nigel Nuttall received a controversial yellow card for a marginal call on raising his stick above shoulder height.

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But they had it in abundance as some swift counter attacking brought them level with goals from Alex Waters and Chris Batchelor.

Hockey. St Francis II v Crowborough. Pic Steve Robards

It was a pity for them that they fell behind just before half time but they were level early in the second half when Jack Searle struck.

But then lack of composure and a failure to retain possession were punished by Crawley as they doubled their tally to run out 6-3 winners.

The weather improved for St Francis 2nds as they took on their oppositie numbers at Crowborough and shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

Two soft short corner goals sent them in trailing 2-0 at half time but the team have shown plenty of spirit this season and it was there again on Saturday as they kept their patience to snatch a 2-2 draw.

Neat play after the break failed to reap any reward until MoM Tom Tyers burst into the D and set up Simon Main for a cool finish on the reverse.

From there a time warp appeared at the Triangle as Eric Rimmer launched a 50-yard+ pass that enabled Steve Kent to control and turn on the edge of the box before firing in the equaliser.

After that Saints could and perhaps, should have won although overall it was probably a fair result.

The 3rd team continued their unbeaten run with a 6-1 win at Crawley, despite changes leading to a somewhat shaky start.

They were 2-0 up at the break and then took charge. The scorers were Janek Lewandowski (2), Neil Henry (2), Brendan Shiel and Will Ryan, who deservedly took the MoM award on his debut.

Neil Henry turned in a solid show in the centre of defence, Jack Foulger grew into the game and Josh Jones was tireless in his efforts.

The 4th team put in a hard working performance but finally went down 3-0 to Horsham 4ths.

Stuart Campbell was MoM but everyone put in a shift as the club did well to fulfil the fixture after failing to get out a team the previous week.

In a goalless first half, the midfield of Adam Foulger, Callum Nourish and James Campbell posed Horsham a few questions.

Mid Sussex 2nds drew 1-1 in an end-to-end game at Worthing, where the umpire said it was the best he has seen this season.

The inspirational Karl Bass broke the deadlock after the break but Worthing forced an own goal from David Heine 10 minutes from time.

Adam Carter was outstanding in goal, Hidi Moro showed great tenacity and there was a fine debut by young Sam Cooper.