Player/coach Christian Battye insisted his Chesterfield side will have “learned loads” after crashing to a 5-1 defeat against title favourites Olton and West Warwickshire.
The hosts had too much quality and experience to put a dampener on a bright start to the Midlands Men’s Hockey League, Division Two season for newly-promoted Chesterfield.
But Battye refused to be too downhearted, especially as his team still put in a battling performance.
He said: “It was a tough one, but we learned loads. Our basics weren’t quite up to Olton’s level, and we were puniszhed.
“A massive positive for me is the way we stuck at it and kept our heads in the second half after we went 3-0 down.”
The first 20 minutes saw ‘keeper Matt Drohan keep Chesterfield in the game with a string of fine saves. But the pressure finally told with a scrappy opening goal .
A second quickly followed after a mix-up between Battye and Ben Curley, and a third arrived before the break to leave the visitors reeling.
Chesterfield restored some pride with a spirited second-half showing, and they even pulled a goal back when they were awarded a penalty corner after neat work by Joe Green and man-of-the-match Joe Morton. The initial chance was saved, but the fall fell to Battye, who teed up Dan Molloy for his second goal in as many games.
Josh Helsby then went agonisingly close to netting again, but Olton heeded the warning and added two more goals of their own.