WHITLEY Warriors made a disappointing start to 2012, going down 6-2 away to a Trafford Metros side chasing them for a top two finish in the English National League.
The home side made a dream start with Tom Revesz opening the home account after just 20 seconds and Jake Nurse doubling the lead with a powerplay goal at 15.38.
And to compound a poor period for the Warriors, Max Drakeley netted short-handed to make it 3-0 with 36 seconds of the period remaining.
Whitley needed to get off on the front foot at the start of the second and DJ Good provided that opportunity when he netted inside two minutes, but they could make no further inroads and still trailed by two going into the final period.
And any hopes the visitors might have had of staging a comeback disappeared in a three-minute spell late in the third period when the Metros scored three times.
Ollie Bayne netted the first at 52.16 before Jake Nurse completed his hat-trick with two quick goals – the second being short-handed – leaving a marker from Callum Watson at 58.29 as nothing more than consolation.
Warriors coach Garry Dowd felt his side were chasing the game all night once the home side opened the scoring so quickly.
“Trafford came at us right from the off and when they scored so quickly that put us on the back foot,” he said.
“It took us some time to get going after that, especially as we hadn’t had a game for a couple of weeks over Christmas, and you could tell the difference in the Metros play because they had been in action at Coventry the night before.
“However, despite conceding a couple more before the end of the first period, we made a bright start to the second and quickly got a goal back through DJ, and if we could have got another one then it might have been so much different.
“But once again we were guilty of a lack of discipline and that disrupted our play so that we couldn’t get any kind of grip on the game.”
With his side trailing by two going into the final session, Dowd felt they could still get something from the night, but it just did not happen for his side.
“To be honest, the side that wanted it more won,” he admitted.
“And because we were committed to pushing up to try and get back into the match, they were able to pick us off at the back and three more goals sealed our fate.”
Although Ally Brummitt was able to return to action after six weeks out with injury, Dowd has lost two more players with Dean Holland (groin) and Jordan Barnes (dislocated shoulder) out of action for the foreseeable future, leaving them on the side-lines along with Steve Pritchard (knee), Phil Pritchard (groin) and Bryan Dunn (groin).
“It could be that I will have to suit up for the next few weeks to help out,” said the coach.
“We have had a terrible run of injuries this season and there’s no doubt it has been an influence on some of our results.”
The Warriors are in action twice this weekend, travelling to Coventry on Saturday before hosting Solihull Barons 24 hours later for what will be the Barons’ first visit to Hillheads for a competitive game in almost 15 years.
Tickets for the game are available on the night, priced at adults £7.50, under-16s and concessions £5.50, while a family ticket is available for £22.
The action starts at 5pm with the doors open 30 minutes before face-off.