Stu­dents will stay pos­i­tive and look for upset against Hol­combe says Grif­fiths

The Hockey Paper - - MEN'S PREMIER DIVISION - By Char­lie Ben­nett

GET­TING beaten ev­ery week is tough for team morale but Lough­bor­ough Stu­dents and Eng­land star Jonty Grif­fiths in­sists he is see­ing im­prove­ments – de­spite hav­ing their Premier Di­vi­sion sta­tus un­der se­ri­ous threat.

The Le­ices­ter­shire side went down heav­ily to East Grin­stead, but the score­line was an un­fair re­flec­tion as the hosts held their own for large parts of the con­test.

Andy Piper and Nick Catlin scored twice for East Grin­stead, while Sam Driver and Martin Scan­lon also net­ted as the visi­tors pulled away late on for a hand­some re­sult.

But Grif­fiths is not too down­hearted and was en­cour­aged by his side’s dis­play, al­though he ad­mits that this sea­son has been a bap­tism of fire for him and his team.

“Again we con­tested for large parts of the game, we were 3- 2 be­hind at one point and

had real be­lief as we pushed for­wards that we could go on and get that point,” he said.

“The game be­came more end- to- end and it has been like that all sea­son, the class of the op­po­si­tion has shined at the real key mo­ments whereas we have lacked the nec­es­sary ex­pe­ri­ence un­for­tu­nately.

“This is our first year play­ing in the Prem and it has proven to be a big step up.

“The dif­fer­ence in qual­ity is not that big but teams take their chances more of­ten at this level.

“It is hard to find pos­i­tives ev­ery week but we had a strong run in BUCS and won a lot of games, so we have tried to take that con­fi­dence into the league, but it is dif­fi­cult be­cause the re­sults don’t tend to favour us.

“The main pos­i­tive to take is that re­gard­less of the score­line we have al­ways com­peted and we have al­ways shown our best and gone close on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions.

“Even when we are play­ing teams at the top, we are al­ways in with a shout and hope­fully we can con­tinue to do that for the rest of the sea­son.”

East Grin­stead re­main sixth in the ta­ble but they are now four points off the top four, and still have a game in hand.

But they next face table­top­pers Wim­ble­don, who re­main un­beaten.

Mean­while, Lough­bor­ough must now pre­pare for a daunt­ing trip to play third- placed Hol­combe and Grif­fiths says his team will not go out and de­fend, as they tar­get a ma­jor upset. He added: “We are free to go and play with free­dom and take what we can. “A lot of peo­ple ex­pect us to go down so that is the men­tal­ity we are in now. We are try­ing to keep the mood high.”

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