LUDLOW Hockey Club men’s first XI saw their promotion hopes suffer a blow as they let a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 in a six-pointer at home to Redditch.

The loss keeps Ludlow – who host mid-table Bournville this weekend – in third place but they are now three points behind second-placed Redditch and six adrift of leaders Market Drayton.

Ludlow completely dominated the first half and deservedly went ahead after 15 minutes as Craig Heath broke into the area and turned a defender inside out before firing home.

The hosts quickly doubled their lead thanks to captain Gavin Hughes’ drag flick from a penalty corner but, despite controlling the rest of the half, they had to settle for a 2-0 interval advantage.

The second half was a very different affair and, although Ludlow held on to their lead for 20 minutes, Redditch scored two quickfire goals to level.

Ludlow had the chance to go back in front with ten minutes left but Sam Pratt’s penalty stroke was excellently saved and the visitors pinched the points on the counter late on.