Pritchard at the double as Loxwood get back to winning ways

Loxood's Gary Pritchard
Loxood's Gary Pritchard

Gary Pritchard hit a brace as Loxwood returned to winning ways in County League Division 1 against Hailsham Town on Saturday.

Pritchard’s late double, either side of a Dean Wright goal, clinched the Magpies a 3-1 home victory over their third-from-bottom visitors.

Loxwood boss Dave Cocoracchio was pleased to see his side take the three points after four consecutive draws in the league.

He said: “We were fully dominant in the first half and created a good few opportunities which, unfortunately, we did not take and their goalkeeper pulled off three very good saves.

“They worked very hard and had a lot of endeavour and at this time of the season, when sides near the bottom are fighting for their lives, they are not easy to play against.

“They were then the better team for the first 15 minutes of the second half and had a lot of possession and were dominant.

“It was important to get another three points under our belts. It was very pleasing all around as there were a lot of players out again and it is testing the squad.”

Dave Cocoracchio

“They didn’t really create too many opportunities and Sam Smith did not have a lot to save, but we were under pressure - a lot more than I would have liked and we ended up scoring against the run of play.

“It was very pleasing to get another three points as we have been drawing too many games recently, although we are unbeaten in the league in a long time.

“It was important to get another three points under our belts. It was very pleasing all around as there were a lot of players out again and it is testing the squad.”

Eddie French and Pritchard both saw their headers tipped over the bar in the first half and Mark Cave was denied both a low save from the visiting goalkeeper.

Dean Wright also hit the post before half-time as Loxwood failed to find the breakthrough.

Despite the visitors starting the second half the brighter, Cocoracchio’s side went ahead on 64 minutes as Pritchard fired into the corner from a set piece.

It was two five minutes later as Wright superbly headed across goal from Michael Wood’s cross.

Pritchard then made sure of the result as he slotted into the corner on 82 minutes, but Hailsham did net a late consolation from Sam Divall’s screamer in added time.

Cocoracchio added: “Gary Pritchard did very, very well and got his just rewards for his hard work and technical ability.

“He had a superb game and should have probably walked off with a hat-trick.

“Tom Summerfield was superb as well. I had to start him and he is made of strong stuff, playing 90 minutes after 120 for the under-18s on Thursday.”

Loxwood: Smith, Summerfield, French, Familton, Hoyte, Scally (Gill 73), Cave, Wood, Findlay (Ramsey 83), Wright (Todd 80), Pritchard.

Loxwood travel to Chichester tonight in the league.