High-flying Loxwood challenged to maintain unbeaten run

Tim Martin scored the only goal on Saturday
Tim Martin scored the only goal on Saturday

Joint Division 2 leaders Loxwood have been challenged to keep their unbeaten run going as they aim to make an early statement of intent for a title challenge.

But with a number of key players currently injured, manager Dave Cocoracchio has conceded that will be tested by a tough run of matches, starting this weekend away at Mile Oak.

Cocoracchio though has been delighted with the form of his weakened squad, who won their fifth straight match on Saturday with a hard-fought victory at Westfield which he said demonstrated they now know more then one way of winning.

Cocoracchio said: “As anybody who’s played at Westfield knows it’s an awful place to go, the pitch and facilities are diabolical. We have won games of football with flair and style and beaten teams handsomely but what we showed on Saturday is we can go to tough places and grind out a result.

“Westfield are probably the biggest side in County Two, they only have one way of playing football and that’s route one and towards the end especially our defence and goalkeeper had to deal with endless balls pumped into the box and a fair bit of pressure.

“But we got the right result, as we did away at Wick who are another physical side and it shows we’ve got flexibility in the way we play.”

Saturday’s 1-0 win also made it three consecutive clean sheets - another big plus for the manager after he felt any mistake was punished early on in the season.

But after Tim Martin’s early goal at Westfield The Magpies needed goalkeeper Chris Coles to save a second half penalty and make a stunning save to keep out a deflected free kick to preserve a 1-0 win.

Cocoracchio heaped praise on his goalkeeper, who has returned to the club this and has to make a 250 mile round trip from his Essex home for matches.

The ambitious club have made promotion to County One the objective this term and Cocoracchio added: “It’s nice of course, but there’s no point being top in October and nowhere near come April and May.”