Loxwood hit four to eye top-four finish

County League Division 1: Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150413-153802001
County League Division 1: Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150413-153802001
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Loxwood put four past Crawley Down Gatwick and then allowed themselves to put one eye on a top-four finish in their maiden season in County League Division 1.

Having been promoted last season, a place in the top-six had been all the talk in recent weeks which would have exceeded expectations.

County League Division 1: Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150413-153813001

County League Division 1: Loxwood v Crawley Down Gatwick. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150413-153813001

Their 4-1 demolition of Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday moved them to within a point of fourth-place Eastbourne Town, who lost their game in hand against Littlehampton on Tuesday night.

That has opened the door for the Magpies to try and steal fourth spot with two games left to play, although Horsham YMCA are breathing down their neck, three points behind in sixth.

Assistant manager Kristian Sorensen said: “We are extremely pleased to be in the position we are with two games to go.

“We are certainly planning to go for six points in the last two games. We will do it with a view to finish as high as we possibly can and starting to build for next season.”

On the chance of overtaking Town, who face Pagham on Saturday, Sorensen added: “It gives us a chance although YM are very close, three points behind us.

“The same amount of games have been played now and the games in hand have gone.

“Four points might see us about there, but YM have been on a good run. We are looking up rather than down, though.

“Anywhere in the top-six would be higher than our ambition. We have got to be extremely proud of the season with the Sussex Senior Cup semi-final where we were defeated by Lewes.

“Reaching the RUR Cup final where we came up a bit short and at Newport in the FA Vase where with a bit of luck we would have reached the further rounds. All in all it’s been a great season.”

On Saturday, the Magpies flew out of the trap and netted inside three minutes through Dean Wright.

That set the tone for the half as they crashed another three goals before half-time.

Tim Martin netted the second on 16 minutes, Mark Cave was on target nine minutes later and Shaun Findlay completed the scoring eight minutes before the break.

To Crawley Down’s credit they didn’t give up in the second half and put up some resilience.

They were rewarded with their goal as Lee Thomas netted on 77 minutes, but other than that Sam Smith’s net was rarely threatened.

At the same time, the home side rather than go up a gear, dropped one or two, but eased out victory to get back to winning ways.

Loxwood host Shoreham on Saturday, before concluding their season a week later when they travel to St Francis Rangers.