Surbiton Ladies play their last home Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division match of the season on Saturday when they welcome East Grinstead to Sugden Road (push back 2 pm).
On Old Members Day, Surbiton, having qualified for the end of season Championships following their 8-1 win at Slough last Saturday face an East Grinstead side three points behind them with a game in hand.
East Grinstead are in recent fine form having won their last three league games 2-1 v Leicester, 3-0 v University of Birmingham and 3-1 against Buckingham, all at home.
Surbiton have stuttered in 2018, and have failed to win a home game since the turn of the year, drawing 1-1 with both Canterbury and Bowdon Hightown and losing 2-1 to Holcombe. In contrast their away form has seen them come away from Leicester, Clifton Robinsons and Slough with all three points.
In spite of their league position, East Grinstead have been inconsistent for most of the season. They began with a goalless draw at home to Holcombe before losing 2-0 at Leicester. They then put together a string of three successive league wins without conceding a goal, 2-0 at Bowdon Hightown; 1-0 at home to Slough and 2-0 at home to Canterbury.
This was followed by two defeats, 1-0 at the University of Birmingham and 2-0 at home to Surbiton
East Grinstead then won a seven goal thriller, 4-3 at Clifton Robinsons and came away from Buckingham with a 3-1 win before they ended 2017 with a surprise defeat, 2-1 at home to Bowdon Hightown.
2018 has seen East Grinstead’s form improve, with four wins out of five league matches starting with a 3-1 win at Slough. The only blip came in a 1-0 defeat at Holcombe.
Chloe Palmer, who was in the Surbiton line-up for the first game at Saint Hill, moved to East Grinstead during the winter break and has scored four goals, all from penalty corners to join Zoe Burrell as their top scorer with four goals. Ruth Gordon, Alexandra Malzer and Laura Unsworth have all scored three goals, while Natasha Brennan and Pippa Chapman have each scored twice. Pip Lock, Ellie Rayer and Georgie Blackwood round off the scorers with one goal apiece.
With the postponed matches from 3 March being rescheduled for Sunday (18 March), East Grinstead go to Canterbury for their game in hand over the league leaders before hosting Clifton Robinsons on the last day of the season.
Elsewhere on a busy weekend for the national leagues, Clifton Robinsons, who slipped to ninth after results last weekend host Buckingham, who look likely to miss out on a top four place after an excellent season on their return to the top flight. Holcombe have a Kent derby at home to Canterbury; Leicester, adrift at the bottom of the table after their home defeat to Slough last Sunday, are at home to the University of Birmingham. Slough will want to build on their win in the East Midlands by getting a result at home to Bowdon Hightown.
Then on Sunday, Bowdon Hightown continue to Buckingham; Leicester are at home to Clifton Robinsons in what is likely to be a relegation battle and the University of Birmingham are at home to Slough.
Both Surbiton and Holcombe can only watch the results with interest as they managed to fulfill their original fixture.
Surbiton finish the season at Buckingham next Saturday and then travel to Hampstead & Westminster the following day for their Championships Tier 1 quarter-final. The cup tie was due to be played on Sunday, but Hampstead have rearranged their league fixture against Sevenoaks, so the cup tie has been put back to 25 March.