Consistency key for Loxwood who are aiming for top-four finish

Adam Williams in action for Haywards Heath reserves last season. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj
Adam Williams in action for Haywards Heath reserves last season. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

Loxwood manager Mark Beard is looking to achieve a top-four place in the highly-competitive Southern Combination League Premier Division this season.

He will enjoy the benefits of having a settled squad from last season with only two new signings, striker Toby House from Lancing and Haywards Heath central midfielder Adam Williams.

The only departures are Joe Holvey and Ollie Moore, who have both joined Broadbridge Heath, and striker Charlie Pitcher, who has made the switch to Horsham.

Beard, who is looking to bring a number of his former under-21s into the team more this season, said: “We’re looking forward to a good season with a target of finishing in the top-four.

“We’ve been lucky and kept most of our players and are just bringing in one or two - other clubs who have made a lot of changes are probably still finding their first XI.”

The Magpies begin their league campaign on Saturday, August 13 with an away game against Worthing United.

Before that, they travel to Kent Premier club Erith & Belvedere on Saturday in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup. They will be without Sam Beard, who is suspended, Ollie Gill who is on holiday and the injured Josh Courtney.

Beard said: “Erith will be unknown in terms of players but we do know they lost recently to Greenwich Borough 5-2, so it should be a tough game.

“We are going to have a young team with a lot of pace and energy and we hope to hit them on the counter-attack and hopefully come away with a win.”

In Loxwood’s pre-season games they lost to fast-rising Ryman South side Greenwich Borough 5-3, who feature Beard’s ex-Millwall team-mate, former Crawley Town striker Gary Alexander, beat Oakwood 6-1, lost 4-2 to Horsham and drew 1-1 with Met Police under-21s.

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