In what is proving to be a difficult start to the second half of the season, Melton Hockey Club’s First XI faced back-to-back games last weekend.
Travelling away on Saturday, Melton were hoping to do the double over a youthful Leicester side.
And their experience told in the first half, as they comfortably soaked up pressure and then hit Leicester on the break.
Smith found Kendall on the left who sought out Cramphorn in the D, and after the ball bounced loose, he followed in to convert Smith’s cross-shot at the back post.
As the game opened up, Melton were unlucky not to extend their lead, as Taylor twice went close and was unfortunate not to add to his goal tally this season.
However, as Leicester started to dominate possession, their pressure began to tell.
They blazed a penalty high over the goal, but followed this up by converting a penalty corner as the teams went in level at 1-1 at half-time.
Melton were caught a little cold by a quickfire double in the second half to fall 3-1 down.
Undeterred, Melton got back into the game, with Brooks finding Kendall who fed Taylor.
He in turn found Judge, diving full-length to tip past a helpless goalkeeper; a fantastic goal to bring Melton back into the game.
As the Reds pressed for an equaliser they were caught out again on the counter-attack to fall two goals behind once more.
Showing fight, the visitors didn’t give up, and when Taylor released Kendall in the D, he squared for the onrushing Brooks to make it 4-3.
It was now all-Melton as the Leicester defence creaked.
With time running out they pushed forward and, when Taylor was felled, they appealed for a last-minute penalty, but it was not given and Leicester held on, leaving Melton frustrated.
Due to the bad weather in December, Melton returned to action in a re-arranged fixture on Sunday against title favourites Repton who boast both youth internationals and a former full international player.
It was unsurprising perhaps when Repton put Melton under extreme pressure.
Eden made several saves, but was unable to stop Repton racing into a 4-0 lead.
Melton had some good possession and battled throughout, but Repton were just too strong and continued to rack up the goals in the second half.
The hard work and effort was ultimately rewarded with Kendall’s consolation goal, but it was a difficult end to a bad weekend.