Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division – 21 October 2017
HOLCOMBE 1–3 SURBITON
Scorers: Alice Sharp 27-PC, Giselle Ansley 53-PC, Sarah Haycroft 57-F
Squad: Grace Lawes (GK), Giselle Ansley, Stephanie Addison, Sarah Haycroft (Capt.), Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Emily Atkinson, Emily Defroand, Beckie Middleton, Alice Sharp, Robyn Collins.
Subs: Darcy Bourne (7″), Georgie Twigg (7″), Chloe Palmer (14″), Ella Burnley (20″), Lucy Holder (33″).
Umpires: Lelia Sacré and Emma Shelbourn
Match Official: Sue Row
Surbiton Ladies returned to the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division table after ending Holcombe’s unbeaten league record with a 3-1 win at a blustery Holcombe Park.
Having lost at the University of Birmingham by the same scoreline seven days earlier, Surbiton bounced back and are one of three teams on ten points ahead of Slough and East Grinstead on goals scored with all three teams having a plus three goal difference.
Just as in Birmingham, Surbiton fell behind early, Emma Trunks, who had scored a last minute penalty corner conversion to earn Holcombe a 2-2 draw in the corresponding fixture last season, opened the scoring in the seventh minute, again from a penalty corner.
This week, Surbiton didn’t respond quickly and struggled, unforced errors and failure to control the ball hindering their attempts to get back on level terms.
Surbiton went into the fixture as the only top flight team not to have scored from a penalty corner, but the drought was finally ended in the 27th minute. Holcombe goalkeeper Roseanne Thomas saved from Surbiton’s fourth penalty corner only for Alice Sharp to put away the rebound to equalise.
Sharp became only the second player to score against a Holcombe defence which had kept three clean sheets in its first four league matches.
Early in the second half, Surbiton goalkeeper, Grace Lawes was called upon to make a diving save from Holcombe’s third penalty corner as Holcombe attacked to try and restore their lead.
However it was Surbiton who scored the next goal, Giselle Ansley finding the backboard from their eighth penalty corner in the 53rd minute.
Four minutes later, captain Sarah Haycroft blasted the ball into the netting to give Surbiton a 3-1 lead, and having struggled earlier on, Surbiton played exciting attacking hockey and seemed to have regained both their composure and confidence.
Youngster Ella Burnley gained more experience of playing at top flight level and both Hannah Martin and Emily Atkinson displayed their skill in keeping possession and attacking the home defence in the second half.
The win ended Holcombe’s run of twelve league games without defeat, the Kent club dropping from first to fifth with the top seven clubs separated by just four points.
Slough stayed second after their 2-1 home win over Leicester; with East Grinstead staying in contention following their 2-0 home win over bottom club Canterbury.
Clifton Robinsons moved up to fourth thanks to their 3-0 win at home to Bowdon Hightown, whilst the University of Birmingham dropped to sixth with Buckingham staying seventh after the teams drew 2-2 at Stowe School.
Next Saturday, it’s first versus second as Surbiton host Slough at Sugden Road at 2 pm. Slough are yet to score away from home having drawn 0-0 at Bowdon Hightown and lost 1-0 to East Grinstead, but are second thanks to having won all three home games so far this season.