Loxwood FC lift the Division 2 Cup

Loxwood with their trophy
Loxwood with their trophy

A Dean Wright hat-trick saw Loxwood come from behind to beat Bexhill 4-1 and end their promotion-winning season with a trophy.

Jamie Savidge had put underdogs Bexhill ahead but Wright levelled before the break and in a dominant second half the striker finally put the Magpies ahead on 79 minutes.

Mark Cave then bundled in a third before Wright netted a deserved treble at the death as Loxwood - promoted to Division One next year - signed off their fantastic season with their first trophy since becoming a senior club.

Only Wright’s miscontrol stopped him running through on goal with 11 minutes played before Bexhill took a shock 15th minute lead.

A fine pass from Jacob Shelton found Savidge waiting at the right-hand corner of the penalty area and with his left he curled beyond goalkeeper Paul Williams and into the far bottom corner.

Committed Bexhill defending was frustrating the Magpies forwards for much of the half before they missed a great chance to draw level.

Shaun Findlay’s inswinging corner found Joe Holvey completely unmarked near the back post but with everyone waiting to see the net bulge his downward header went wide.

Loxwood though were back on parity just three minutes later, Mark Cave slotting a great ball through the middle and Wright outstripped the last defender and won a footrace with the onrushing goalkeeper to toe it past him and into an unguarded net for 1-1 on 36 minutes.

Only a brilliant block from Joe Holvey prevented Bexhill from re-taking the lead only a minute later as the Magpies defender deflected Dean Stevens’ goal-bound shot wide.

Loxwood finished the half the stronger of the sides and from Findlay’s dinked cross Wright was always underneath it and could only head over at the back post.

A minute after the restart and Loxwood were so nearly ahead. Findlay again caused problems on the right, beating a man on the byline and from his stood up cross Tim Martin headed wide when free inside the box.

And just after Mark Cave’s ball over the top was missed by Bexhill defender Stuart Lewis, but with only the goalkeeper to beat Wright took it early and dragged his half-volley across goal and wide.

Former Horsham FC legend and now Loxwood captain Eddie French was putting in a dominant aerial performance at the heart of the defence to repel a string of Bexhill balls forward.

By now Loxwood were well on top and after determined work from Martin saw him win a free kick, and from its position wide on the left, Matt Hoyte had a go and only a fine fingertip save from Joe Turner prevented him scoring on 74 minutes. Further strong goalkeeping then helped repel a succession of Loxwood corners as the favourites continued to be frustrated.

With 11 minutes of normal time remaining the resistance was finally broken when Martin’s clever flick found the surging run of Wright and the forward coolly slotted into the bottom corner.

Cave then bundled in Wright’s cross before the former Horsham YMCA hitman side-footed home Martin’s cutback to cap a man of the match performance and see Loxwood lift the Division 2 Cup with a 4-1 victory.

Loxwood: Williams; Holvey, Swaine (Elekana 80), French, Elliott; Hoyte (Pett 89), Findlay, Cave, Scally; Martin, Wright (Lewindon 90).