Duo debut in hockey boys’ first away win

Eastbourne Hockey Club recorded an impressive 1-0 win away at Milton Keynes on Saturday thanks, in large part, to their pair of debutants.

Luke Lovejoy joined the club last week and scored the only goal of the game to ensure Eastbourne did the double over their Southern Premier Division rivals in what is their first win on the road so far this season.

He wasn’t the only one impressing on his debut though as new goalkeeper Matt Northcott saved a penalty and a short corner to keep a clean sheet - a rare feat in hockey.

Along with a first appearance of the season for coach Chris Bristow, a man of the match performance from captain Matt Minister and an overall excellent team display, Eastbourne earned their third win of the current campaign to bump themselves up to ninth in the table.

Manager David Adelston said, “It was a great game and we played really well.

“It was a very hard game, especially as it’s such a long way to go on the day but they all did exceptionally well.

“Luke did very well to get the goal, which Chris provided the overhead for, but it was a tremendous overall team performance.

“We did pick up quite a few yellow cards though, which meant we had to deal with a few suspensions during play, but the overall determination from everyone saw us through.”

This weekend, weather permitting, Eastbourne will host third-placed Chichester hoping to avenge the 9-0 defeat inflicted upon them in just the second game of the current season.

Adelston added, “The weather forecast doesn’t look too good for the rest of this week but, if the game does go ahead, it will be a very tough one, obviously.

“We will still have a positive mental approach.”

The match will start at 11am on Saturday and will be played on the Beresford Astroturf at Eastbourne College.