It was a disappointing start to Sheffield Hallam’s Men’s Hockey League North Conference programme last Saturday, as they lost their opening match 3-2 to Preston.
The game had started well with the team taking the game to their visitors, winning plenty of ball in high areas of the pitch.
Eventually the pressure told as Josh Darlington broke from midfield to get on the end of Andrew Jackson’s high lobbed pass.
Darlington won a penalty corner which Jackson duly converted with a well placed flick.
Preston started to settle and enjoyed good periods of possession.
They built up pressure of their own and levelled the game with a penalty corner strike which meant the teams turned around at half-time all level.
Preston came out the stronger in the second half and added two more goals thanks to two more penalty corners.
The game seemed to be up for Sheffield until Martin Sutherland broke through the massed ranks of the Preston defence only to be upended in the shooting circle.
Ethan Chapman duly dispatched the resulting penalty stroke and Sheffield went searching for an equaliser.
Despite substituting their ‘keeper in favour of an eleventh outfield player, Sheffield couldn’t draw level.
The result was a major blow to the side who travel to Leek for their next match on Saturday, before hosting Doncaster in the England Hockey Cup at 1:30pm at Abbeydale on Sunday.