Loxwood are on target to pull themselves out of Premier Division relegation zone according to boss Alex Walsh, after his side picked up a 4-1 away win at Little Common on Saturday.
A Sam Karl hat-trick and an own goal from a Common defender helped the Magpies notch up their second successive league win and now sees them just one point shy of Arundel in the battle for safety.
Walsh said: “We looked at the Little Common game and we knew that it was going tough, but we knew if we played to our strengths that we could win the game and that’s what we did.
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“We gave a target to the players when we (Walsh and assistant Nathan Bowen) came in that by the calendar year we want to be in touching distance of teams above us.
“We’re on target for what we’ve set out to achieve and to be only one point behind Arundel and four points behind others with a game in hand is very pleasing.
“We set our own standards and we want to make sure we are competitive in every game. The fact that we got a point at Saltdean and back-to-back wins is really pleasing.
“We did feel we had the ability to get ourselves out of it, which is why I took the job. The fact that results have come so quickly is a bonus.”
In grim and wet conditions, Loxwood took the lead on eight minutes. Common ‘keeper Matt Cruttwell tried to clear his lines but the ball bobbled, leading him to miss the ball completely, and Karl tapped into an empty net.
On 27 minutes, Common made another defensive error as player-manager Russell Eldridge’s back pass was intercepted by Karl. The Magpies forward rounded Cruttwell to double the lead.
The hosts were back in it two minutes later however. Eldridge’s corner from the left found Lewis Parsons and he claimed the final touch to reduce the deficit.
Loxwood lead at the break and restored their two goal cushion on 56 minutes. A cross from the right deflected off a Common defender and, despite Cruttwell getting a hand to it, the hosts found themselves 3-1 down.
Karl grabbed his hat-trick and Loxwood’s fourth nine minutes before the end. A long free-kick downfield wasn’t dealt with by the home defence and Karl went through to score and wrap a convincing victory for Walsh’s side.
Walsh added: “Sam’s work rate was second-to-none. Two of his goals were through pressing the ‘keeper and we’ve been working on our pressing intensity in training.
“I think we showed hunger and desire to make it difficult for teams. We’ve got to match everyone’s work rate and then hopefully Sam and some of the other boys can get us the goals to stay up.”
The Magpies host AFC Uckfield Town on Saturday.
Loxwood: Matthews, Courtney, French, Cowan, Boiling, Frankland, Omofe, Mutongerwa, Westlake, Karl, Goldson.