Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division – 28 October 2017
SURBITON 4-2 SLOUGH
Scorers: Emily Atkinson 25-F, Hannah Martin 30-F, Giselle Ansley 38-PC, Jo Hunter 54-PC
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: Izzy Petter (6″), Darcy Bourne (10″), Ella Burnley (11″), Chloe Palmer (19″), Amber Walton (GK) (56″)
Umpires: Rob Jenkins and Rebecca Woodcock
Match Official: Thea Hitchcock
Surbiton Ladies opened up a three point gap at the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division after beating Slough 4-2 at Sugden Road on Saturday.
Otherwise the top tier of women’s hockey is extremely congested with four teams on ten points and two teams on nine points a third of a way through the 2017-18 regular season.
Slough included former Surbiton players, Asha Tranquille-Day and Kelly Morgan in their squad and it was the visitors who went close to taking the lead after forcing a first minute penalty corner. A combination of great goalkeeping and excellent defence kept Slough out and gradually it was Surbiton who dominated possession.
In the seventh minute, Surbiton captain Sarah Haycroft’s pass found Beckie Middleton only for her shot to go agonisingly past the right post. Haycroft herself had a shot blocked and with Hannah Martin sending the ball past the left post, Slough still had hopes of building on their excellent start to the season.
In the 25th minute, a brilliant individual goal from Emily Atkinson broke the deadlock. Attacking from the left sideline, Atkinson ran towards Slough’s backline before cutting inside and running into the circle to slip the ball perfectly past Tranquille-Day and put Surbiton ahead.
The lead lasted just three minutes as Slough took advantage of their second penalty corner award, Ashpal Kaur Bhogal finishing to score the visitors’ first goal away from home this season.
On the half hour, Martin restored Surbiton’s lead from open play with Middleton positioned at the left post.
Trailing 2-1 at half time, Slough fell further behind three minutes into the second half when Robyn Collins and Giselle Ansley combining nicely for Ansley to smash the ball against the backboard from Surbiton’s second penalty corner of the match for her fourth league goal of the season.
In the 54th minute, another excellent move allowed Jo Hunter to convert Surbiton’s third penalty corner and give the reigning champions a 4-1 lead.
Slough’s penalty corner routine was inconsistent, having scored from their second award, the third was ruined by a mistrapped injection. However, with ten minutes to play, the routine was back on track, Georgina Bathurst scoring Slough’s second goal after the ball was manoeuvred around the circle from their fourth award . Youngster Amber Walton had replaced Grace Lawes in goal in the 56th minute to get some first team experience.
Chloe Palmer had two opportunities to convert penalty corners late in the game but Surbiton had to settle for a 4-2 victory.
Slough dropped to fifth, with the University of Birmingham, having lost their first two games, moving up to second after a 1-0 home win over East Grinstead, who stayed third.
Clifton Robinsons remained fourth following their 1-1 draw at home to Holcombe, with Buckingham moving up to sixth thanks to their 1-0 win over Bowdon Hightown, who still haven’t scored since their opening 3-1 win over Birmingham.
Leicester moved away from the bottom two after their 4-1 win over basement team Canterbury.
Next Saturday, Surbiton Ladies travel to East Grinstead (push back 1.30 pm).