After multiple cancelled games because of bad weather, Melton Hockey Club’s First XI finally returned to action on Saturday after the Christmas break.
The team had not played since November and the lack of match practice and fitness told in what proved to be a disappointing game at Leicester Westleigh.
After a hectic opening, Melton started to dominate, but the play was slow and chances came and went.
The match remained a little disjointed, so it was perhaps no surprise when Westleigh broke and scored to compound Melton’s slow start.
The Reds rallied and improved slightly, but the game remained tight until Taylor took aim with a penalty corner, and dispatched a shot low past the keeper’s left.
Half-time allowed Melton to regroup, and the performance duly improved at the start of the second half.
The away side began to look much the better side, spending long periods in the opposition half.
And as the pressure ramped up, Brookes won the ball high up the pitch and played in Kendall who turned, dribbled and struck the ball low into the goal.
As the home side pushed for an equaliser, Melton broke quickly down the right.
Durrant, Brookes, and Carrey linked to set Sibun free, and he tucked the ball home nicely into the far corner.
The game was almost up, and Melton looked to be cruising to victory, but some slack team defending allowed Westleigh to halve the deficit.
Melton were then reduced to 10 men after an unfortunate foul as they struggled to see out the game.
Trying to keep possession, the Reds then gave the ball away, and with nothing to lose the home side streamed forward.
Outnumbering the Melton defence, Westleigh tucked the ball home for their second goal in the last 90 seconds.
It was a harsh lesson for Melton, and things get no easier on Saturday when they host East Midlands Premier leaders Notts Trent University at Burton Road (12.30pm).