LUDLOW Hockey Club missed a penalty as they conceded a late goal in a hard-fought 3-2 friendly defeat at Hereford.
Hereford’s first-team team captain Mark Allen hit the decisive goals with just five minutes remaining in last Saturday's match.
Ludlow spokesman Martin Watts said the team can take a lot of encouragement from the match.
"With so many regulars missing and still able to give Hereford a run for their money, the second half of the season looks promising," said Watts.
Ludlow went into the game with a 12-man squad, including the inexperienced Russell Wilcox in his first game for two years.
Regular goalkeepers David Hughes and Darren Dixon both played outfield and regular 1st XI stalwart James Pratt.
Matt Thomas put Hereford ahead in the eighth minute but Jake Watts levelled with a well-taken reverse hit.
Hereford regained the lead from a fine volley from club stalwart Steve Alderton.
Ludlow were then awarded a penalty flick but Hereford keeper Pete Preece pulled off a magnificent save from the spot.
Ludlow hit back to draw level when they countered a Hereford attack and the lively Tim Machin scored from a well taken short corner.
Ludlow goalkeeper Henry Downes had to be at his best keep out a shot from the restart.
Both teams played some great hockey and had some good chances to take the lead
However, Allen had the final word at Hereford Leisure Centre. He broke from a defensive position inside his own half, carried the ball 50 yards before exchanging a neat one-two and firing a low shot past Downes.
Ludlow: Downes, Jake Watts, James Pratt, Machin, Aaron Wilcox, Graeme Wilcox, Russell Wilcox, Phasey, Dave Hughes, Darren Dixon, Steve Barnes. Subs: Josh Rowson, Don Millington.