After a disappointing away draw, Melton Hockey Club First XI came up against an even sterner test on Saturday against high-flying Notts Trent University.
The omens looked rather ominous, as the heavens opened and drenched Melton throughout their warm-up.
In a challenging game, Melton faced a deluge of attacks almost as relentless as the weather, and despite a spirited effort, they couldn’t stem the flow. Notts Trent, a typical university team, came flying out of the traps, dominating possession and probing the Melton defence.
It was only a matter of time before they broke the deadlock, and two quickfire goals suggested the hosts were in for a tough day.
However, the home side grew into the game and started to counter-attack against their dominant opponents.
Chances were few and far between, but Durrant was unlucky when a cheeky lob almost beat the keeper.
By half-time Melton were understandably tiring, but showing a lot of character.
Some tactical changes allowed them to get on the ball more in the second half, but an unfortunate deflection saw the ball run free in the area and allow Trent to make it 3-0 early on.
Down but not out, Melton started to battle even harder.
A break by Pollard was stopped by the Trent keeper, but, in the ensuing melee, the ball popped out to Kendall to tap home and reduce the deficit.
It almost became 3-1 when Judge’s shot was stopped illegally on the goal-line, but frustratingly for the home side, the Trent goalkeeper kept out Pollard’s penalty stroke.
The Trent goalkeeper had to make two more important saves, while at the other end, Eden saved a penalty stroke of his own, diving full length to tip the ball expertly round the post.
Chasing the game, Melton pushed on, but were eventually caught out by the youthful Trent side who made the game comfortable at 4-1.
Melton head back out on the road to face Leicester on Saturday, looking to kickstart the second half of their season in the East Midlands Premier.