Aldershot and Farnham bounced back to winning ways with a thumping 6-0 victory over Lewes.

The result saw A&F move up to fifth place in their first season in hockey’s South East Regional Premier Division – and on course to meet coach Ian Jennings’ challenging target.

Jennings was delighted to see his side win again but admitted: “More important was the manner in which we did it.

“When we played at their place it was a tough fixture but the most pleasing aspect was how dominant we were in the return game and shows how much we have improved, despite missing two of our key players.

“We stuck to our game plan and we were consistent through the lines.

“Scoring four open-play goals was also a very good sign going forwards, so we don’t have to rely on our penalty corner routines all the time.

“I would like to think we can win our next four games which would put us in a very strong position to achieve our aim of pushing for a top-four finish.”

Despite the early games at Heath End being cancelled because of the cold weather, the pitch had thawed in the sunshine to allow the game to go ahead.

However, it was the visitors who applied the first pressure as some indecision around the A&F back line meant possession was cheaply overturned on a few occasions.

But it was only a blip as the home side settled in and started to impose their style and tempo on to the game.

They very quickly received a reward for their efforts as the play flowed down the A&F right. The ball was fired across the face of goal and Jonny Groves went prone to apply the finishing touches and give his side the lead.

Lewes fought back and soon had a numerical advantage when a drive along the baseline and into the ‘D’ from Lewes’ centre midfielder was cut short abruptly by James Treadgold with a hefty challenge.

Treadgold received a green card and Lewes were awarded a penalty corner, which A&F kept out.

A near carbon copy followed at the other end of the pitch when Stu Morhall picked up the ball and drove dangerously towards the ‘D’, only to be stopped illegally.

There was no card this time but the penalty corner was given – and Scott Perry’s return to form from set pieces continued as his drag flick was dispatched into the top right corner to double A&F’s advantage.

A&F poured forward again, eager to keep turning the screw and applying pressure and the visiting side were unable to cope with the relentless attacks.

Treadgold and Chris Boot were the playmakers for the home side, setting the tempo and creating openings for the midfield and forward lines to get into the ‘D’ and get shots away.

Patrick Craddon went close with a reverse-stick strike that cannoned into the side netting. But the sustained pressure led to another penalty corner and this time the Perry drag flick went bottom left and Jamie Weston, up from centre-back for the set piece, deflected the ball into the back of the net to put his side 3-0 ahead.

A&F weren’t done in the first half either.

They flowed forward once more, this time finding space down the left, and the ball found Groves on the edge of the circle who, on the reverse, flashed a ball across the face of goal.

This time it was Phil Rushmere who dived in to get on the end of the inviting ball and divert it into the goal.

The visitors’ problems were compounded as they began to lose their composure, a green card being handed out for dissent just before the interval.

Things continued in much the same vein for the home side in the second half. The press from the forwards was causing Lewes problems as passes started missing their mark and A&F picked up cheap turnovers.

Frustrations were boiling over as the Lewes left-half was given a straight yellow for a poor sliding tackle.

The lack of discipline was preventing Lewes from getting a foothold and A&F duly capitalised, maintaining their dominance.

More Morhall probing down A&F’s right after another flowing move led to a scramble in the Lewes ‘D’ and the ball fell to Perry on the left, who fired a reverse strike emphatically across the keeper into the far corner.

A&F then shifted into a full press to capitalise on the poor distribution from Lewes.

Further cheap turnovers to A&F’s forward line followed and Morhall was rewarded for his tireless efforts down the right, latching on to a loose ball and lifting it delicately into the far corner to make it 6-0.

Lewes’ miserable day was made worse as the left-half again saw yellow for a second poor challenge in the dying minutes.

Kevin McCafferty