Men’s Hockey League Premier Division – 3 November 2018

SURBITON 22 HAMPSTEAD & WESTMINSTER

Scorers: Alan Forsyth 4-F, Tim Atkins 29-PC
Squad: Tim Atkins, Lewis Prosser, Tom Sorsby, Ben Boon, Jonathan Gall (Capt.), Arjan Drayton Chana, Alan Forsyth, Sam Spencer, Nicholas Parkes, Taylor Seager-Green (GK); Rory Calnan.

Subs: Conor Williamson (6 mins), William Marshall (8), Scott Jones (8), Scott Evans (19). Sub not used: Max Lowrey.

Umpires: Dan Barstow and Daran Cass

Match Official: Ray Strudwick

Surbiton Men and Hampstead & Westminster are still locked together at the top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Sugden Road on Saturday night. Surbiton have a nominal lead on goal difference, but Hampstead maintained an unbeaten run which goes back to 25 February when they lost 3-2 at Holcombe.

In front of a bumper crowd, Hampstead forced a penalty corner after just twenty seconds but Surbiton made the perfect start against a defence which had conceded just two goals in the first six matches and kept three successive clean sheets.

Arjan Drayton Chana ran at the Hampstead defence, passing to Alan Forsyth who shot on the turn to put Surbiton 1-0 up in the fourth minute. The lead lasted just seven minutes before Paul Melkert equalised from open play in the eleventh minute as Hampstead pushed forward.

Hampstead had had to deal with aerial passes which set up a second scoring shot for Forsyth, only for Toby Reynolds-Cotterill to save with Ben Boon also proving to be a danger.

Hampstead’s unbeaten run was under threat again six minutes before half time when Tim Atkins found the backboard from Surbiton’s first penalty corner of the match to leave the visitors trailing 2-1.

However, Hampstead equalised in the same manner, former Surbiton player, Rupert Shipperley converting a penalty corner in the 48th minute.

Surbiton goalkeeper, Taylor Seager-Green made several vital saves as Hampstead sought a winning goal and in turn, Atkins was denied a second penalty corner goal by Reynolds-Cotterill with eight minutes remaining. Seager-Green’s stellar performance won him the Man of the Match award, sponsored by David Best.

In the only other match on Saturday, Sevenoaks drew 0-0 at home to Reading to move off the bottom of the table. The University of Exeter have two games in hand. Holcombe are Exeter’s next opponents on Sunday and can move to within a point of the top two with a win. Brooklands Manchester University are at home to East Grinstead and Wimbledon host Beeston.