WORTHING Hockey Club captain Cirdec Atkinson has issued a promotion cry after they got their season underway in emphatic style on Saturday.
After a disappointing campaign last season in the Kent/Sussex Regional League, a 7-3 win at Herne Bay on the opening day saw Worthing secure their first away victory for 17 months .
With that away-day hoodoo banished at the first attempt this campaign, a growing crop of players and some hard-work over the break, Atkinson believes his side are ready to mix it at the top.
He said: “It was a really positive start and our first away win in 17 months, the last away game we won was back in April, 2011.
“It was an excellent start and just what we wanted –it’s our biggest ever win against Herne Bay as well.
“It’s all been very positive over the summer, to be honest promotion now has to be the aim. The last two years have been about bringing youngsters through and competing, but it’s time to push forward now.”
Atkinson led by example on Saturday as he crashed in five goals. Michael Gubbins and Atkinson had put the visitors two goals ahead before the home side fought back to level the scores.
Atkinson then scored a penalty stroke and from a short corner, before Andy Moore made it five. Herne Bay pulled one back, but the Worthing captain fired in two more late on.
Worthing are without a game on Saturday as scheduled opponents Kings & Alleyns have a sponsors’ day.
l Newly-promoted Worthing ladies got their South League Division 3B campaign off to the perfect start with a 4-1 victory away to Yateley.
The hosts were also experiencing their first game at south level after winning their league last season. Worthing took the lead from a penalty corner as Kelly Stevens struck to give the them the lead at half-time.
It took another two penalty corners to see Worthing increase their lead after the break with Charlotte Waters slotting in both goals at the near post.
Worthing’s fourth came from open play when Shelley Formstone slotted the ball past the keeper into the far corner.
l Jamie Bird hit a hat-trick and Matt Vokes hit a brace for Southwick as they won 5-2 away to Chichester University in Division 2 of the Sussex League.
Southwick 2nd were beaten 6-1 at home by Brighton Rocks in Division 3 as Russell Whiting netted their only goal.
Southwick ladies won 5-2 in Division 1 against Worthing 2nd as they twice came from behind in the first half.
Clare Jackson equalised first while Fiona Youngman made it 2-2 after Worthing had retaken the lead. Jean Hewitt hit a third, before goals from Katie Stripe and Jackson completed the win.
Southwick ladies 2nd won 3-2 away to Penguin in Division 3.