After the league’s winter break, Melton Hockey Club First XI returned to action in fine style with a dominant display against Nottingham on Saturday.
Melton were looking to start the second 202 on the front foot after in encouraging, but at time inconsistent first half of the season.
But it was a rusty opening 15 minutes for the Reds at Burton Road, with loose passes and slips giving the opposition many encouraging moments.
Josh Thompson in goal was equal to any threats, clinging to the ball every time a forward tried to go around him.
Melton took a while to wake up and shake off the Christmas lethargy, but when they did, they quickly took control.
Firstly a penalty corner allowed Leo Guy to lock and load his trusty drag flick to open the scoring.
Moments later a smart move down the right saw Jacob Welch and Dave Boyne put Sam Pollard in to smash in a smart finish.
Two-nil at half-time was well deserved, but in tricky conditions the home side needed to be on their guard.
The second half began much better than the first, with the home side pushing Nottingham back.
John Judge, Rich Randall and Matt Snow dominated possession for long periods.
And not content with two goals, Melton went searching for a third.
Sam Pollard, Michael Frew and James Hewitt worked the ball well down the left before a deflection sent the ball bouncing into the area where Dan Kendall volleyed in.
Nottingham were clinging on with some desperate defending, but mistakes were creeping in as Melton’s pressure started to tell.
And when Nottingham gave the ball back to Melton deep in their own half, Kendall passed to Hewitt, who found Boyne in the area to swivel, turn and score a well-deserved goal for his tireless work.
The result was already safe when Snow looped another dangerous ball into the area and the Notts keeper could only parry.
As the ball bounced free, Frew converted to wrap up the win which moved Melton up to fourth in East Midlands League Division One.
Melton play at home again on Saturday when Loughborough Town Thirds are the visitors, looking to maintain their winning momentum.