Preston Hockey Club men’s 1sts tasted success in the Midlands as they beat Lichfield 4-1.
The Whites did not really hit the ground running.
But, 10 minutes in, they opened up the Lichfield defence and Adam Wilson’s powerful reverse-stick effort was smothered by the keeper but only on to the waiting stick of David Greenough, who tapped the ball into an open goal at the back post.
Despite the goal, neither side managed to maintain positive possession of the ball, with lots of turn-over of play.
However, with 25 minutes on the clock, Julian Lopez made a strong run through the Lichfield half and slipped the ball to David Sullivan, who made a fine run through and slapped the ball past the oncoming keeper.
At 2-0 up, Preston were looking more potent in attack and took control of the game.
Dan Renshaw played a positive role in the centre on his league debut and made good use of the ball to create several openings going forward.
But against the run of play, Lichfield struck back as a lapse of concentration from Preston led to a short corner, which was hit home via a deflected shot from Sam Hawkes in the 31st minute.
At the half-time break Preston head coach Peter Nicholson gave his side the wake-up call they needed.
The Whites responded well and took the game to the opposition.
They found an opening when Wilson was first to react to the umpire’s whistle at the top of the D and calmly passed the ball into the goal.
Preston saw the opportunity to strike again quickly and used plenty of energy up front to run the Lichfield defence into the ground.
It proved valuable for Preston as Lichfield conceded a succession of corners and, in the 64th minute, Wilson flicked the ball hard into the corner past the watching Lichfield keeper.
Preston played out the game comfortably to the end.
Nicholson said “We came here and did the job.
“It certainly wasn’t a pretty game but then winning the three points was the main target.”
This weekend, Preston host Sheffield Hallam.