GS: Ollie Ashdown 56-F
CARDS: YELLOW Will Blyth GREEN: Conor Jamieson Andy Blood
Sheffield Hallam travelled to Loughborough University to play the students and were given a first class lesson in how to play hockey. From the off, the home side played a faster and more aggressive game. They seemed to win each tackle and complete each pass. Their press was difficult to break down whilst Sheffield's was fragile. The scoreline in the end was of little significance.
The fact was that lots needs to be done as the team prepare for their next match away at current North Conference Champions, Bowdon. However, despite the evident list of negatives there is a resolve amongst the team to put the wrongs right, work on the areas of concern and improve.
The home side were one up within the first five minutes.
The initial penalty corner strike was saved by Simon Hujwan, in goal for Sheffield, but Ed Horler followed up to get the scoreboard rolling.
Luke Taylor added a second with a wonderful drag flick that flew past Hujwan before Horler scored his second, this time in open play, to put Loughborough 3-0 up going in to the half time break. Hujwan, despite seeing three fly past him in the first half, had also pulled off a string of fine saves to ensure the score wasn't any higher.
Despite being at such a disadvantage, the visitors started the second half brightly with the resolve to take the game to their hosts.
Débutantes, Ollie Ashdown and Akshay Ahitan were putting in commendable performances whilst the likes of Matt Anderson, Will Blyth and David Smith worked tirelessly for the good of the team.
Up front Martin Sutherland continued to get amongst the home defenders but the final ball just couldn't pick him out.
Loughborough piled on the pressure and, with the home crowd increasing in volume, started their free scoring once more.
Luke Taylor completed a hat-trick of penalty corner goals whilst Horler went one better, notching four.
Amidst all the purple celebrations there was time for Ashdowne to score consolation goal for Sheffield.
With the faintest of touches he guided the ball past the home keeper to open his Sheffield account.
A bad day at the office. Well actually a really bad day at the office.
In the words of Yazz and tThe Plastic Population, "The Only Way Is Up!.