In-form Pritchard extends Loxwood’s unbeaten run

S45701H14  Shoreham v Loxwood Action from the game SUS-141011-111550002
S45701H14 Shoreham v Loxwood Action from the game SUS-141011-111550002

Gary Pritchard netted both goals as Loxwood extended their unbeaten run to 11 games with a comfortable 2-0 win away at Shoreham on Saturday.

The Magpies showed no FA Vase hangover as they climbed up to ninth in Division 1 and continued their fine recent form in the process.

Pritchard’s double in the space of five minutes midway through the first half was enough to send the visitors to victory as the in-form forward made it nine goals in six games.

Loxwood manager Dave Cocoracchio said: “I think we were weary of the high of the FA Vase and it was important to get back in action on the front foot. It was a professional performance and we spoke about continuing our unbeaten run and good habits.

“They were buoyed by a good win the week before and on their website they had said about new additions and people coming back from injury and that they were the strongest they had been all season.

“The performance from the first minute of the first half was exceptional and we put them to the sword with some of the football we played.

“We dominated the game and at half-time we had killed the game, although still knew we had a job to do.

“In difficult condition and at a difficult place to go, I am delighted with the way we played, delighted with the result and delighted with the clean sheet in those conditions.

“Gary is in such a rich vein of form and playing so, so well. Nine goals in six games is a great return in anyone’s book, although it should be 12, but I won’t keep reminding him of that.”

Pritchard spurned three glorious chances to have a hat-trick even before he eventually opened the scoring on 26 minutes.

He headed over from Michael Wood’s cross on three minutes, wide of the post from an identical move nine minutes later and then shot straight at the goalkeeper after being slipped through by Shaun Findlay.

But the break did eventually come from an excellent move. Matt Hoyte found Tim Martin out on the touch line, whose deft turn beat his man before playing in Findlay in the channel.

The winger then cut in and unselfishly squared for Pritchard to finish.

The second was a gift as Mark Cave’s miss-hit cross was fumbled by the goalkeeper and not gathered, allowing Pritchard to tap home the simplest of finishes.

After the break on 75 minutes, Shoreham hit the outside of the post and Loxwood were forced to weather a ten-minute storm before finishing strongly with further chances for Michael Wood, Andrea Elkana and Findlay going begging.

Loxwood: Smith, Holvey, French, Familton, Hoyte, Wood, Swaine, Cave (Gill 70), Findlay (Elkana 88), Martin (Wright 82), Pritchard.