Preston Hockey Club men’s 1sts have lost nine squad players since the end of last season, their first at National League level.
And it showed during a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Wakefield.
The match was fiercely but evenly contested.
Wakefield enjoyed a good first half, scoring twice early on.
The second half was mostly Preston pressure but the visitors failed to create many clear-cut chances.
Owen Fetcher and Dave Greenough both went close for Preston.
Midfielders Sam Sinclair, Adam Wilson, Tom Galloway and teenager Joe Kulbacki all worked hard but were unable to fully shield the back four.
Preston captain Richard Sullivan said: “We are inexperienced at this top level of hockey, as its only our second season in the national league.
“But we are getting better and quickly learning the lessons from our defeats. We have a young but talented group of players. we will stay up.”
Other Results: Preston 3rds – Won 4-1 at home to South Lakes 1st; Preston 4ths – lost 5-2 at Blackburn Northern 1sts; Preston 5ths – lost 4-2 at home to Blackburn Northern 2nds; Preston 6ths – won 2-1 at home to Northern 3rds (Weir, Trevalyn); Badgers – lost 3-1 at home to Bolton Badgers; Beavers – won 6-4 at Blackpool Junior Boys.
Garstang Ladies 1sts suffered a 3-1 defeat at Formby. Things did not start well when Garstang found themselves trailing 3-0 after 15 minutes.
Despite the scoreline, Garstang’s heads never dropped as they won a number of penalty corners.
Donna Richardson looked strong at the back for Garstang with obstinate defending, relieving pressure.
In the second half Formby started where they left off with a good spell of attacks and keeper Sarah Skelton made two fantastic saves.
Five minutes from time, Garstang’s good work paid off when Jude Chapman played in Josie Rice, who was waiting at the top of the ‘D’ to grab a late consolation goal.
Newcomer Emma Sanderson made her debut for the team.
Meanwhile, Garstang Ladies 2nds went down 3-2 at Pendle Forest. After 18 minutes Garstang’s Helen Mather opened the scoring.
Pendle scored twice in quick succession but Liz Suddell made it 2-2 in a goalmouth scramble. But Pendle got the winner following a penalty corner.