After a difficult pre-season, and with a mixture of absent players and injuries, there was a certain sense of justified trepidation as Melton Hockey Club returned to action.
Despite a significant restructuring of the league structure in the off-season, Melton’s men’s first team still found themselves playing against one of their oldest and most consistent rivals – North Notts.
Notts, full of the same faces Melton have been playing against for years, had added one or two new recruits of good quality in the summer.
And the home side settled to their task much better then the Reds.
In fact it was a first half to forget, as Notts found themselves in space far too often leading to six quickfire goals in the first 35 minutes.
Melton had few clear cut chances, but had improved toward the end of the half.
This continued into the second half, where, despite tired legs and no substitute options, the away side managed to come into the game.
In fact, on an opening day to forget the Reds managed to keep a clean sheet for the remainder of the match.
With no real rub of the green at the other end, it was perhaps a little unfortunate that they didn’t at least pull a few goals back.
Melton will look to begin their season again on Saturday when they open up their home fixtures with a visit from nearby rivals Coalville to Burton Road (12.30pm start).
* Melton’s ladies made a winning start to their Leicestershire League Premier campaign with a 2-0 home win over Half Century.