WORCESTER deserved more from their display in a 1-0 home defeat to fifth-placed North Stafford in Midland Men's Hockey League Division One.

The first game of 2020 saw the city side start slowly at RGS The Grange but saves from keeper Tom Dalton and a clearance off the line by Ollie Ranscombe kept it at 0-0.

Soon after Ethan McDonald Smith was floored in the opponents' penalty area but the umpire did not award a penalty corner.

The visitors seized on the opportunity and countered swiftly to score from the resulting attack.

Third-from-bottom Worcester started the second half well with Dom Sullivan creating several chances, including hitting the post from a drag flick, and Jack Townsend put a shot just wide.

The home side began to dominate, working hard and creating chances but they could not make them count.

The second half in particular saw an impressive performance despite Worcester missing a couple of key players.

It augers well for the second half of the season as the first team, who host second-from-bottom Bridgnorth on Saturday, bid to pull away from the relegation zone.

The seconds won 4-3 at Lichfield with a hat-trick from Rob Goodman and a Jez Drake strike.

Worcester third XI gained their first victory of the season with a hard-fought 2-1 success against fellow strugglers Warwick thanks to Luke Pillinger and James Bullock.

The fourths lost only their second game of the season 3-2 in the second and third-place battle with Edgbaston.

Daniel Howgego and James Bullock netted for Worcester.

The fifth XI led early on, went behind and finally equalised in the last two minutes against Stafford.

Two goals for Tom Howard and one for Ollie Betteridge resulted in a 3-3 draw.

Worcester sixths lost 2-1 to Bromsgrove with an Adam Holden strike and the sevenths went down 6-0 to Finchfield.

The women’s first and third XIs had no games but the seconds played a rearranged match against Stourport.

Worcester struggled to get going early on and were soon 2-0 down.

But they fought back well and scored in the second half through Libby Wycherley.

They continued to fight hard and created chances but could not find the equaliser.

The fourth XI thrashed Tenbury 8-0 despite a scrappy opening with some promising attacks.

Worcester opened the scoring on 25 minutes and the goals then flowed.

The Badgers Potters beat Redditch 6-2.