Melton Hockey Club Men’s First XI promotion push came to a premature end on Saturday with a disappointing home defeat to rivals Ashby.
Going into the game, Melton had a realistic chance of going up from East Midlands Division One, knowing victory in their six-point showdown would take their campaign to the final game, but the Reds performance left a lot to be desired.
Frustratingly for Melton, they had actually performed well in the first half of their final home game.
A limited Ashby side spent the whole half struggling to get the ball out of defence, but the Reds failed to capitalise enough on their dominance.
Good situations came and went, without clear chances presenting themselves.
But eventually, multiple penalty corners took their toll on Ashby as Guy dribbled around a defender and slotted past the keeper.
After the previous weekend’s poor second half against Leicester, there were worrying signs as Melton started badly.
Passes started going astray, and bad touches allowed Ashby to move the ball into dangerous areas.
With the away side’s lack of creativity made up for by Melton’s generosity, three quickfire goals followed, and out of nowhere Melton’s season had been derailed.
Things got worse as Ashby turned in a fourth, before Melton finally scored their second from a penalty corner routine which saw Randall square for Kendall to deflect home.
At 4-2, an assault on the Ashby goal followed, but the wind was knocked out of the home team’s sails when the visitors sneaked a fifth.
Melton travel to Derwent for their final league game on Saturday, knowing they can finish the season no higher than fourth place.