Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division – 4 November 2017
EAST GRINSTEAD 0–2 SURBITON
Scorers: Emily Atkinson 17-PC, Emily Defroand 31-F
Squad: Grace Lawes (GK); Giselle Ansley, Sarah Haycroft (Capt.), Georgie Twigg, Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Emily Atkinson, Emily Defroand, Beckie Middleton, Chloe Palmer, Robyn Collins.
Subs: Sarah Page (6″), Holly Payne (7″), Alice Sharp (9″), Izzy Petter (11″), Ella Burnley (18″)
Umpires: Lelia Sacré and Cathy Wright
Match Official: Jo Pennycook
Surbiton Ladies maintained their three point lead over second placed University of Birmingham in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division after winning 2-0 at East Grinstead on Saturday afternoon.
Surbiton included new signing, Holly Payne from Leicester in their squad on a dark but dry afternoon at Saint Hill where the floodlights were switched on from the start.
East Grinstead included former Surbiton player Amy Thompson in their squad.
Surbiton dominated possession in the first ten minutes of the match but in spite of the best efforts of captain Sarah Haycroft, Hannah Martin and Jo Hunter couldn’t make an early breakthrough, Martin coming close to scoring twice.
Having withstood early pressure, East Grinstead fought their way back into the game, forcing Surbiton to concede long corners with both Georgie Twigg and Giselle Ansley called upon in defence.
In the 17th minute, Surbiton took the lead from their only penalty corner of the half, Emily Atkinson pouncing on a rebound from Amy Tennant’s save.
On her debut, Payne was impressive, attacking down the right wing, also linking well with both Atkinson and Sarah Page.
Surbiton doubled their lead four minutes before half time, Emily Defroand’s shot from the right of the circle eluding the home defence and Tennant to rebound off the inside of the left sideboard.
East Grinstead had chances to pull a goal back late in the first half from two penalty corners, but Surbiton goalkeeper Grace Lawes saved from Xenna Hughes and Laura Unsworth missed the target.
As Surbiton had dominated the early minutes of the first half, East Grinstead dominated possession from the start of the second half, with Lawes and the Surbiton defence having to work hard to keep the home forwards out.
Nevertheless, Surbiton had their chances, Haycroft and Defroand forcing saves and Twigg shooting wide.
East Grinstead’s Ellie Rayer ran at the Surbiton defence, Surbiton’s Hannah Martin once more displayed her possession skills and Surbiton’s Jo Hunter forced a save after a run into the circle as both teams played an entertaining attacking game.
Atkinson and Ansley were both denied from second half penalty corners whilst Defroand and Twigg defended East Grinstead’s only penalty corner of the second half, deflecting a shot over the crossbar.
Surbiton youngster Ella Burnley also worked hard in a match which saw Lawes keep her second clean sheet of the season as Surbiton won 2-0 at Saint Hill for the third successive season.
The University of Birmingham kept up the pressure with a 1-0 win at Slough. Buckingham beat Clifton Robinsons 3-2; Bowdon Hightown ended their scoring drought with a 2-1 win at Leicester and the Kent derby between Canterbury and Holcombe ended 1-1.
Surbiton host Buckingham on Saturday (11 November) at 4 pm and then are at home to Wapping, the leaders of the East Women’s League Premier Division at 2 pm on Sunday (12 November). Wapping lost their first league game of the season, 4-3 at home to City of Peterborough. Ipswich missed the chance to go top after losing 3-2 at St. Albans second team.