Sheffield Hallam were disappointed not to get anything out of their ‘six-pointer’ against Hampstead & Westminster last Saturday.
“It wasn’t that Hampstead were brilliant,” Hallam’s Andy Pettigrew said.
“They weren’t. But they are a seasoned side at this level and over the ten years they have been in this division, they have learnt the art of survival.”
Hallam slipped to a 2-0 loss in an end-to-end game that lacked the spark of Hallam’s previous game against Surbiton.
After facing two of England’s best sides in their opening three games, Hallam sit bottom of the table - but Pettigrew is confident that the wins will shortly start to arrive.
“There is a long way to go yet in this season,” he said.
“And there are plenty of winnable games out there.
“The focus has to be on beating the teams around us, to secure at least a third bottom finish and retain our Premier Division place.”
Hallam should be boosted for their trip to Loughborough Students this weekend by the return of trio Brendan Creed, David Goodfield and Arjan Drayton Chana.
The three Hallam players were called up by England Under-21s to play in the Johor Sultan Cup invitation tournament in Malaysia.
“The task has also been compounded by a squad containing many new faces,” Pettigrew added.
“As with any team, it takes time to gel together and find a consistent style of play.
“What Hallam need to do is find game to game consistency, rather than playing up or down to the standard of their opponents.
“They also need to work on defending penalty corners, as five of the eight goals they have conceded have come this way.”
Indeed, both goals conceded against Hampstead came from penalty corners.
The first came after ten minutes, when Hallam’s Jamic Cachia stopped the initial shot at goal.
The ball rebounded only as far as Hampstead’s Richard Bond who made no mistake flicking the ball inot the roof of the net from five metres out.
Hampstead’s second, also in the first half, was a well-placed strike straight into the bottom corner of the goal.
Hallam fared better on Sunday, beating Didsbury Northern 5-1 in the first round of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Cup. They now face fellow Premier Division side Beeston at Abbeydale on October 27.
Hallam men’s seconds beat Leeds 3-0, but the women’s firsts slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Lancaster.
n Sheffield Bankers, meanwhile, were pleased with the performance of their men’s second team despite a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Lincoln Roses.
A Bankers side containing a number of new faces took the game to the Roses, and went ahead after eight minutes when Viv Ballachander deftly converted a drilled pass.
The visitors managed to equalise after 24 minutes, and then went ahead a minute later with a wicked cross-cum-shot from the right.
A careless foul gave Lincoln a penalty corner with one minute of the first half remaining, which was converted to give the visitors a 3-1 interval lead.
They then made the game completely safe with their fourth goal, just before the hour mark.
Bankers’ firsts drew 1-1 with Harrogate, scoring in the last minute to preserve their unbeaten record.