STAFFORD HC firsts had mixed results this week, losing 7-1 at Bromsgrove in the league, before beating Nuneaton in the Hockey Association Vase on Sunday.
The local side were undone on Saturday against a young, skilful and well coached Bromsgrove team.
Starting well, Stafford seem to be well matched with their opponents, but they soon introduced former Cannock first team player Andrew Langlands who was able to pull the Bromsgrove strings.
Stafford were guilty of giving the ball away too often in midfield and eventually Bromsgrove opened to scoring with a powerful drag flick into the bottom corner.
Although they tried to force the game, Stafford were unable to keep control of the ball, Bromsgrove continually picked poor passes off and extended their lead to 3-0 at half time.
Stafford thought they might as well go for it in the second half and pushed forward only to be caught on the counter attack as Bromsgrove made it seven.
It was not until the last 15 minutes that Stafford were able to create some decent chances.
Randall Moore executed a drag flick himself to grab a goal back and Andy Peatfield played one straight at the keeper instead of placing it beyond him. It was too little, too late, against a very good team.
However, Stafford fared better on Sunday against lower league Nuneaton in the national Vase, winning on penalties.
Stafford dominated the early stages but could not make their pressure tell. Nuneaton then caught them on the break, their forward breaking a number of tackles before slotting the ball under the advancing Brad Evans.
At this stage, Stafford knew they had to take their chances and Ben Cantrill eventually equalised after a slipped penalty corner move.
The second half was goalless, despite Stafford dominating proceedings. The Riverway team were able to keep their nerve in the penalty competition with Randall Moore, Ben Cantrill, Andy Peatfield and Mike Wattley all scoring.
Evans also played his part, saving two penalty attempts to hand the victory to Stafford.
It is back to West Midland One league duty for Stafford this Saturday when they face Bloxwich HC at home, with a 1pm push back.