Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division – 23 March 2019
SURBITON 0–0 SLOUGH
Squad: Sabbie Heesh (GK); Holly Payne, Emily Atkinson, Ella Burnley, Olivia Chilton, Susie Catlin, Jenna Woolven, Alice Sharp, Izzy Petter, Robyn Collins, Michaela Curtis.
Subs: Sarah Evans (Capt.) (6 mins), Darcy Bourne (6), Emily Guckian (10), Giselle Ansley (13), Peggy Winterborn (16).
Umpires: Gill Lord and Clare White
Match Official: James Boylan
Surbiton Ladies will have to win next Saturday at Bowdon Hightown and hope that Canterbury, whose relegation from the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division this weekend, can surprise Holcombe after Surbiton were held to a goalless draw by ninth placed Slough on Saturday afternoon.
Holcombe’s 4-2 home win over Clifton Robinsons gives them a three point advantage over Surbiton with just one game remaining, but with Holcombe and Surbiton both having a 21 goal difference, Surbiton can snatch first place if the result goes against the form book at Canterbury next Saturday.
Surbiton had last drawn 0-0 at Bowdon Hightown on 18 November 2017 and their last goalless draw at Sugden Road had come against Holcombe on 21 March 2015. The 2014-15 season had also started with a 0-0 draw at Sugden Road when Reading had been the visitors.
Slough’s last 0-0 draw had been more recent: the previous week at home to Beeston and the draw at Surbiton means they go into their final match at home to Buckingham, not having conceded a goal in 217 minutes.
Surbiton showed plenty of attacking promise but couldn’t break down the Slough defence, in spite of Holly Payne and Olivia Chilton combining after just 20 seconds of action.Youngster Peggy Winterborn attacked down the right, showing great skill but Surbiton’s forwards, once in the circle, struggled to create openings with visiting defenders well positioned to frustrate the home players.
Slough also managed to defend nine penalty corners, Robyn Collins and Holly Payne having efforts saved by former Surbiton goalkeeper, Asha Tranquille Day in the first ten minutes. Giselle Ansley also had problems, one shot being saved with the ball clearing the fence beyond the goal. Just before half time, Susie Catlin shot past the left post from a manoeuvred penalty corner, but the best chance had come from open play in the 20th minute, Darcy Bourne’s angled shot from the right of the circle whistling past the left post.
Slough occasionally threatened, but Surbiton’s defenders seemed to be equally well positioned although the visitors threatened with the ball crossing the circle and Surbiton goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh made a save five minutes before half time.
The second half was similar with defences on top, although Surbiton nearly made the all important breakthrough midway through the half, Ansley’s drag-flick clipping the right post. Slough again occasionally attacked in search of snatching a goal, forcing long corners but the last real chance of the match came for Surbiton from Catlin two minutes from the end.
East Grinstead are guaranteed to finish third after an emphatic 4-0 home win over Bowdon Hightown. Buckingham still lead Clifton Robinsons by three points in the race for fourth place after suffering a shock 5-4 home defeat to the University of Birmingham.
Birmingham are two points clear of Slough in the race to avoid the Promotion Tournament.
Canterbury were relegated after losing 2-1 at Beeston, who will finish in mid-table in their first season back in the Premier Division.
As next weekend sees the final round of matches for the regular season, all games start at 2 pm.