WORTHING Hockey Club began their Kent/Sussex League Regional Division season with a 5-0 defeat away to Ashford on Saturday.
The hosts were relegated into Worthing’s division after finishing third from bottom in South League Premier Division 2 last year.
They have set their sights on promotion straight back up and Worthing captain Neil Burlinson said: “Everybody tried and the effort was there but we just lacked that little bit of quality.
“We have a tricky start against a lot of the teams who will be at the top this year, while we have a very new team with players who haven’t played in the first side before, or players who are coming back into the team.”
Ashford took the lead after ten minutes and then doubled their advantage just before half-time.
Worthing had a decent 20-minute spell in the second half, when Jack Symons and Marc Hinton both went close to pulling a goal back at 3-0, before the hosts scored twice more late on.
Dave Beales and Rob Lowe are both back available for Saturday’s home match with Old Bordenians.