Melton Hockey Club’s men’s First XI were left frustrated after they were held to a draw by winless Loughborough Town on Saturday.
After a battling, successful, away performance the previous weekend, the Reds were expecting to continue in winning ways at home, but this overconfidence was badly misplaced.
With the rare luxury of a 13-man squad, Melton set out to dominate possession early on, and they did push Town back, but confusion reigned every time the ball was lost.
Every counter-attack seemed to find Melton short on defenders, as Town raced into a two-nil lead despite Baker’s fine efforts in goal.
Few chances came at the other end, although the Town keeper did save from Brooks, Taylor and Kendall, with the latter also striking the post.
By half-time, drenched from the Artic-like weather, the home side’s bedraggled appearance matched their performance.
But a quick reorganisation at half-time, and a few honest words, saw the Reds set out for the second half with renewed spirit.
It was now mostly one way and, although counters still caused Melton occasional problems, the home side set siege to the Town goal.
Penalty corner after penalty corner was the order of the day for the second half, but converting chances into goals remained difficult.
Eventually, after another goalmouth scramble, left-back Brown found himself in front of goal and nicked it underneath the goalkeeper to pull a goal back.
The Town defence began to creek and, after another penalty corner, Brown again found the goal at his mercy at the back post.
He made no mistake and at two-all the game was there to be won.
What followed was a more end-to-end game as chances flowed, but neither side could take advantage.
At full-time, Town had every reason to feel disappointed not to have won on the road, while Melton’s under-par performance left more than a few players frustrated at the final whistle.
Melton stay handily-placed in fifth in East Midlands League Division One and travel to Nottingham on Saturday, desperate to put things right.
* Melton’s Ladies First XI were also held to a stalemate as their Leicestershire Premier League match at Ashby Second XI ended goalless.
But there were victories for the club’s other two senior sides.
The Second XI notched their biggest win of the season in South East Premier, coming through 5-2 at Leicester Westleigh to move up to seventh.
And there was a first win of the campaign for Melton Third XI in South East Division Three as Tamworth were dispatched 3-0.