By Christopher Allen: Staffordshire University Men’s Hockey 2nds are determined to bounce back after suffering their worst-ever defeat.
They went down 23-1 away to Wolverhampton University 1sts, who included an England international and several National League players in their ranks.
Staffs captain Edmund Crosthwaite said: “Unfortunately we were playing a very good side, so a lot of the things we were trying just weren’t coming off for us. But there were flashes of good play.
“The other team were so rapid and pacey they were getting through our defence like a hot knife through butter.”
Despite the loss, Craig Palmer impressed in the centre of a midfield five, goalkeeper Tom Conlan made some excellent saves, while Staffs’ solitary goal – scored by Palmer – was a skilful one.
After three defeats and a draw in their four games so far this season, Staffs have a chance to turn things around next week when they face Worcester 2nds.
They are the first men’s second team to play for Staffs in the BUCS league for four years and Crosthwaite says the aim is to build a squad for the future.
He added: “This is a brand new team, with a lot of freshers who haven’t played before. They are getting used to the way we play and getting used to each other.
“It would be nice to come back in a few years time and see that maybe they have pushed up a division, playing with the firsts or in a league under the firsts.”
University hockey club captain William Turner said “The margin of the defeat looks awful but the standard of the opposition was incredibly strong.
“They had known National league players and many of our seconds are playing their first season.
“As a team it will make them stronger to have seen and played against players of that quality.”