Mansfield Hockey Club came back from the Christmas break full of optimism but were beaten late on 4-3 by Nottingham Players.
Mansfield had more possession in the first ten minutes of the game, but could not capitalise before Players found some rhythm and, after this, it didn’t take them long to find the first goal of the game from open play.
Mansfield did manage to equalize not long after from close range by Martin Gardner, but it was players who came out on top in the first half scoring two more goals to go into the break winning 3-1.
Both goals came from Players attackers who overan Mansfield’s defenders and found space for pass the ball into the net.
Mansfield came back with a spirited second half and found two goals to level the game.
The first came after Lloyd Stanway had a strong run down the right wing finishing by finding Jamie Younger who placed the ball into the net.
The second came with ten minutes to go. It was the first penalty corner goal of the game and it came with the luck Mansfield were searching for as a ball played across the D by Jason Ward was deflected into the goal by one of Players defenders.
Mansfield thought they’d done enough to gain a point, but fell short with two minutes to go when Nottingham Players scored a penalty corner of their own to win 4-3.