Stafford HC 1st team started their new season with a friendly against Old Wulfrunians HC, the young Riverway side ending up on the wrong side of a 3-0 score line.
The result however did not do justice to what was overall, an encouraging performance by the home team. New captain Ben Hollands, fielded a young team with debutants Ethan Sweeney and man of the match Dave Anderson impressing.
Old Wulfs are a solid, well organised and hard working team and it took a while for Stafford to make a mark on the game. The first meaningful chance fell to Andy Peatfield who rounded the stranded goal keeper but his shot was well cleared off the line by an Old Wulfs defender.
A fairly tight next quarter saw the opposition take the lead after Mark Wilson broke through two Stafford tackles and finished well with a reverse stick effort, another goal soon followed for Old Wulfs, this time a ball played into the circle was deflected past Gareth Minton in goal.
At half time, Stafford reverted to a 4-4-2 formation and really started to create chances. Dan Rennie forced two great saves from the opposition keeper before his third effort was blocked on the line illegally and a penalty stroke was awarded. Unfortunately Andy Peatfield missed, but Stafford still kept plugging away, they thought they had grabbed a goal from Dan Howe but this was ruled out somewhat bizarrely by the non-engaged umpire.
Old Wulfs then grabbed their third in strange circumstances, Minton in goal leaving the ball after it was clearly played inside the circle!
A lot of positives but Stafford need to start making the pressure pay in the form of goals, Anderson awarded the man of the match performance in defence after a very strong display. Next week Stafford are away against Aldridge and Walsall.