Old Loughtonians make winning start to the season

Oxted 2 Old Loughtonians 4

A double from debutant Paul Nicholls saw Old Loughtonians make a winning start to their new England Hockey League Conference East campaign on Saturday.

Manager Dominic Camilleri took his new-look side to Oxted, where new boy Nicholls got his side off to the perfect start – with two goals in a 4-2 triumph.

The Australian converted Alex Jennings’ cross on five minutes to edge the visitors ahead and Jennings himself doubled the advantage on 20 minutes with a goal from a penalty corner, as Loughts continued to dominate.

But the home side were given a lifeline two minutes later when Craig Carolan scored to reduce the half-time deficit.

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After surviving a scare at the beginning of the half, the visitors extended their lead through Oliver Didham on 45 minutes, before Nicholls struck again six minutes later to put the game beyond Oxted.

Johnathan Jauncey did manage to net a consolation for the home side, but Loughts ran out comfortable winners and continue their season with a trip to early league leaders Canterbury on Saturday.

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Meanwhile, Old Loughtonians Ladies were held to a 1-1 draw away at Maidstone in the first game of their league season.

After Jody Goodwin had given the home side the lead on 15 minutes, Loughts captain Sarah Smith levelled from a penalty corner.

The skipper had the chance to earn her side an opening day victory, but saw a penalty stroke saved by the Maidstone keeper, as the teams shared the points.

Loughts will target their first win of the season when they travel to Ipswich on Saturday.

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