Match gallery: North Notts Hockey Club drop points after letting three goal lead slip

North Notts Hockey Club dropped two points in their first match of the season after blowing a three goal cushion.

Speaking after the game a disappointed Jay Faulkner said: “It was probably two points lost today, but we are slowly warming into this season.

“Having had only a couple of friendlies we shouldn’t really be at full speed until next week and now we have some ground to make up, but were confident we can do that.

“Our only expectation this year is that we continue to be the dominating force in the local area and continue to blood some good youngsters into the senior ranks.

“It’s unlikely that anybody will challenge Boots for the title so with only one promotion were happy to re-build.

“Credit has to go to Market Harborough who were very clinical with their penalty corners today.”

Notts had introduced Reginald Anthony and Simon Atkin for their first league starts of the season and were optimistic to recover from last week’s poor performance against a sprightly Ashby.

Unfortunately Notts began in a similar vein to how they finished last week as they conceded early to a well drilled Market Harborough side through a deflected flick on a penalty corner after three minutes.

However Notts always believe they will score goals with their attacking line and Allen Butler soon equalised on five minutes after a goal mouth scramble.

Notts were beginning to find their swagger and, on 10 minutes they took the lead from a well worked penalty corner, with Allen Butlerfinding the goal for his second of the day.

Allen Butler’s hat-trick was completed on 22 minutes with Market Harborough seemingly shell shocked and Notts completely dominant.

Butler then bagged his fourth of the day after 30 minutes in, with the best of the collection seeing his powerful drive fly high into the roof of the goal.

Market Harborough must take some credit for never lying down and they gave Notts something to worry about again when they competently finished off their second short corner of the day to leave the scores at half time 4-2.

At half-time Notts manager Faulkner warned the team of complacency and the importance of the next goal.

As Notts took to the field they seemed solid in their back lines for the first minutes then Market Harborough again pulled a goal back from a penalty corner on 41 minutes.

This seemed to galvanise Notts, who upped the tempo and were rewarded when Josh singleton restored the two goal advantage on 45 minutes after some good work in the “D”.

Notts seemed to be seeing out the game until Market Harborough scored their fourth penalty corner with eight minutes remaining.

Notts then were unable to sustain the constant pressure applied by Market Harborough and, after a brace of Green cards and a plethora of penalty corners, Market Harborough grabbed a deserved equaliser in the dying seconds.

Next week see’s North Notts at home again facing local rivals Nottingham Hockey club at 2pm at Manor Park.