The M1’s travelled to a wet and windy Brighton on Sunday for the opening fixture of the new EHL season. Conditions made the game challenging and the sides cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges. Hawks enjoyed significant success from their forward press and gained several turnovers in the opposition half. But execution of simple trapping and passing skills time and again let them down and consequently they failed to make any circle penetrations of note, nor win any penalty corners in the first half. Both teams huffed and puffed until eventually Hawks broke the deadlock when Brighton conceded possession on their 25 yard line allowing Matt Wood to feed the ball to Ted Bennett, who fired home high into the net off his reverse stick. With just four remaining to half time, Hawks should have held the initiative going into the second half. But a failure to clear the ball from inside their own 25 yard line when the opportunity allowed saw the ball coughed up to Brighton and after a brief scramble inside the circle the ball was forced home literally on the stroke of half time. The second half followed a similar pattern, with both sides making too many mistakes to build any sustained periods of pressure. However, Brighton made fewer than Hawks and with twelve minutes left on the clock, another misdirected pass from Hawks inside their own half presented Brighton with the opportunity to take the lead, which they did courtesy of a fortunate deflection which left keeper Chris Price stranded. So a 2-1 defeat highlighted several aspects of their game that Hawks will need to improve if they are to make their mark in this higher division in the season ahead.