Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division – 24 November 2018
SURBITON 1–2 BEESTON
Scorer: Susie Catlin 3-F
Squad: Grace O’Hanlon (GK); Georgie Twigg (Capt.), Emily Atkinson, Ella Burnley, Olivia Chilton, Emily Defroand, Susie Catlin, Alice Sharp, Izzy Petter, Robyn Collins, Emily Rowlands.
Subs: Holly Payne (8 mins), Alice Klugman (10), Jo Hunter (10), Peggy Winterborn (20).
Umpires: Andy Poulain and Cathy Wright
Match Official: James Boylan
When the season resumes in February, the race for top spot in the Investec Women’s Hockey League will be intense after Beeston inflicted a surprise 2-1 defeat on Surbiton at Sugden Road on Saturday.
Holcombe’s 3-1 win at home to the University of Birmingham means that Surbiton will go into 2019 with a mere plus two better goal difference over Holcombe with eight games to play.
And if East Grinstead hadn’t had three points deducted, the race would have seen a three way tie on 22 points after the West Sussex club beat Slough 1-0 at home, to stay three points behind the top two.
Surbiton gave a league debut to youngster Peggy Winterborn, but had a squad of fifteen players after Phoebe Willars was ruled out due to injury.
Surbiton made the perfect start, Susie Catlin putting them ahead in only the third minute, diving to poke home a rebound after Alice Sharp forced a save from Beeston goalkeeper, Nicki Cochrane.
Beeston went through a period of holding possession and keeping play in the Surbiton half, and forcing three penalty corners in the first half, Kathryn Lane’s shot saved by Surbiton goalkeeper, Grace O’Hanlon.
Izzy Petter forced a save from Cochrane after a run towards goal and youngsters, Alice Klugman and Winterborn weren’t afraid to challenge the Beeston defenders.
Surbiton led 1-0 at half time, but the game began to turn five minutes into the second half when former Surbiton player, Eloise Stenner converted Beeston’s fourth penalty corner to make the score 1-1.
Then in the 53rd minute, Beeston’s penalty corner routine worked wonders again, this time Bridget Kiddle getting the final touch to put Beeston 2-1 ahead from the visitors’ sixth award of the game.
Surbiton tried to raise their game, but Beeston’s defenders grew in confidence as the game went on, although Olivia Chiiton forced a save from Cochrane.
When the final whistle blew, there was immense excitement on the Beeston bench when realisation dawned on what they had achieved in their first season back in the top flight. Former Surbiton player, Lottie Ross was also in the victorious squad.
Clifton Robinsons continued their revival with a 2-0 home win over Canterbury, a victory which lifts the Bristol club into the playoff places: fourth, just six points behind Surbiton and Holcombe.
Buckingham, Surbiton’s next opponents when the season resumes in February, lost 2-0 at Bowdon Hightown to drop down to sixth. Bowdon are now in seventh, three points ahead of the University of Birmingham and Slough. Canterbury’s defeat leaves them four points adrift of Birmingham and Slough at the bottom of the table.