Phoenix Hockey Club's ladies’ seconds had the privileged of being the first to play a league match on the club’s new Olympic-style surface when they hosted a tough local rival against Maldon.

As it was recently laid, the pitch was new to all players and both sides struggled to play their usual flowing game in this Essex Women’s League division three clash.

Much as the club would have wanted a home strike to cut the tape, it was Maldon who took that honour, scoring midway through the first half.

Phoenix were unable to claw their way back and went in at half-time a goal down.

The second half started far more brightly, though, and the ball was stolen from the push back.

However, the break forward was cut out and Maldon made a quick break to go 2-0 ahead.

Phoenix’s young side dug deep and began an onslaught on the Maldon goal.

After numerous attempts, the hosts converted when Rachael Sims deflected a strong cross into the goal, before Kim Smith scored a second just a minute later to bring the teams level. 

It stayed honours even but Phoenix felt like winners after coming back from two down to get a deserved point.