A much changed Welwyn Garden City travelled to Shefford & Sandy in the East Hockey League and returned with a heavy defeat.

Missing six of their regular starters, the men's first team at the WGC club were beaten 6-1.

It leaves them second bottom in Division Two South West with just two draws from their opening six games.

They still had a strong defensive line-up in Bedfordshire and they frustrated the home team in the early stages with Neil Kirby and Rob Sansom marshalling them well.

And with Stuart Stephen and Peter Mullens blocking the wide channels, and Matt O’Connell and Nick Reilly putting in a lot of leg work in midfield, Shefford had to rely on short corners for chances.

Goalkeeper Dan Klinger was also equal to most things in the early going until Shefford evaded a few tackles at the top of the D and fired a crisp shot into the bottom corner.

But that spurred Welwyn into attack.

Joel Davey and Dan White started to threaten the home defence and Hashim Awan, playing as a lone striker on his debut, was also causing plenty of headaches.

It helped bring the equaliser, James Fowler was allowed to stroll into the D and after drawing a save from the Shefford keeper, White knocked in the rebound.

But the second period saw them run out of steam with limited substitutions and unforced errors creeping in.

And as Shefford started to come forward with lots more pace and movement, they took advantage to run out comfortable winners.

Welwyn go into a one week mid-season break before returning on November 4 at home to Blueharts.