Harrogate Hockey Club head into November knowing their season could be decided by the next five fixtures, following a third defeat in as many games, writes Rob Stanworth.
Graeme Bevington’s side went down 5-1 to City of York last time out, in a performance which was undermined by “poor discipline and unprofessionalism”.
The result leaves them seventh in North Division One.
They welcome Preston to the Granby Hockey Centre on Saturday (12pm), before facing Wakefield, Leeds, Neston South Wirral and Newcastle University, all before the advent calendars are opened.
Four of November’s opponents are currently stuck in a mid-table dogfight, while Leeds are languishing in the bottom two. And Bevington was in no doubt his team needs to bounce back from consecutive defeats.
He said: “We have had a tough run of games which we have been unfortunate not to gain anything from. It is vital that we now get three points on Saturday.”
Josh Lyon scored Harrogate’s only goal against City of York but it was not enough to trouble a side who remain unbeaten.
Meanwhile, Harrogate’s ladies side managed to put an end to their three-game losing run last weekend as they drew 3-3 away to Newcastle University, although they perhaps should have travelled home with all three points after holding a 2-0 half-time lead.
Nikki Gill, Alison Wales and Claire Barrett-Mold grabbed the goals but Newcastle converted a disputed late short corner to level.
The girls welcome Bolton to Granby on Saturday.