Half-term school holidays and the absence of several players made selection difficult as Melton Hockey Club’s men’s teams faced a full fixture schedule on Saturday.
The first team went down 6-1 to a well-organised Coalville side. Melton equalised following an early Coalville goal through a Chris Eden reverse-stick strike, but then conceded a crucial goal just before half-time.
This set them on the back foot for the rest of the game and they were well beaten in the end.
* The Second XI visited Burton and were well beaten 5-0 although the final scoreline wasn’t a true reflection with Burton getting the benefit of umpiring decisions for some of their goals.
* Melton Thirds maintained their lead in East Midlands Division One with a 1-0 win at Nuneaton.
The final score didn’t really reflect Melton’s almost complete domination of the game with the midfield of Johnson, Stanley, Saffhill and Sumsubs in control throughout.
They set up several chances for Creed, but with the Nuneaton keeper in fine form the opening goal was a long time coming.
Eventually Creed broke the deadlock after a neat move involving skipper Icely.
Nuneaton were concentrating on packing their defence and made only occasional breaks, leaving Melton’s rearguard of Welch, Snow, Parker and Smith untroubled.
Keeper Sam Harris, making his Third XI debut, was rarely called into action, and it was even possible for Durrant, recovering from a torn hamstring, to have a run-out.
The same pattern followed in the second half with Melton threatening to run riot, but despite hitting the post twice they couldn’t add to their score, mainly due to further inspired keeping.
Melton: S. Harris, S. Welch, H. Snow, C. Smith, C. Parker, S. Stanley, D. Sumsubs, C. Johnson, J. Creed, N. Icely (c), S. Saffhill, C. Durrant.