UHLSport Hellenic League leaders Cheltenham Saracens ended Easington Sports’ 100 per cent start to the campaign in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash.
Saracens beat Sports 2-0 in Saturday’s Division One West contest which was marred by a melee in the closing stages, both sides having a member of each coaching staff sent from the touchline. Two first half goals from Adam Loveridge proved the difference between the two sides in a tight contest played in difficult conditions and a poor surface.
Sports got off to a terrible start, conceding after only five minutes when the unmarked Loveridge headed home Sam Mason’s cross. Harlie Price fired over following a neat move as Saracens made all the early running.
Sports replied with Callum Convey’s free-kick going just wide but Saracens doubled their advantage in the 20th minute. Josh Rose bundled over Josh Goodhall in the box and Loveridge stuck away the ensuing spot-kick.
Stung into action, Sports finally offered a threat, Craig Robinson fired straight at Tim Griffiths and Convey shot wide with a decent effort.
After the restart, Robinson again tested Griffiths who then turned Andrew Stidder’s effort around the post. Stidder’s shot on the turn only found Griffiths and Robinson headed wide at the far post from Sean Snelling’s cross.
It was all Sports in the second half, substitute Charlie Hill set up Joe Eyre who shot over. Hill had a goalbound volley blocked and Griffiths tipped over a far post header from Dan Watkins but it just wasn’t to be Sports’ day.
The closing stages were disrupted by a melee involving coaches and players on the touchline. When play finally resumed, Goodhall hit the bar in stoppage-time from a rare Saracens’ foray but by then the three points were already in the bag as Sports were left to reflect on a poor first half that cost them dearly.