Surbiton Ladies travel to Beeston for the first half of a national league doubleheader on Saturday, with a three point lead over both East Grinstead and Holcombe in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.
The match, which starts at 4 pm, will be played at Nottingham Hockey Centre, University Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 2PS.
Beeston, back in the IWHL Premier after an absence of three seasons spent in the Conference North, have made a good start and host Surbiton in fourth place having won two, drawn two and lost only one of their first five league games.
Beeston would have won their opening match at home to the University of Birmingham, only to concede a last minute equaliser for a 2-2 draw. A week later, they suffered their only defeat, 2-1 at East Grinstead. A 1-1 draw at Bowdon Hightown has been followed by two successive wins: 4-3 at home to Clifton Robinsons and 2-1 at Buckingham, a result which saw the Nottingham club move above their hosts.
Sophie Robinson, Bridget Kiddle and Caroline Hanks have all scored twice in the league with Katie McKee, Lauren Burrell, Alice Huddlestone and Caroline Hulme all finding the target once.
Surbiton have won all four previous league meetings plus a 5-2 win at the 2012 Promotion Tournament which confirmed their place in the top flight for the first time in their history. Surbiton’s first visit to Nottingham ended in a 6-2 victory in November 2013, Giselle Ansley scoring twice with Sandra Roche, Sarah Page, Sarah Evans and Vicky Bryant also finding the net. Phoebe Richards and Lottie Porter replied for Beeston.
The return at Sugden Road ended in a 2-0 win for Surbiton, thanks to Ansley and Emily Atkinson.
Beeston struggled in their second season in the Premier Division in 2014-15, going down 6-0 at Sugden Road, Beckie Middleton scoring four goals with Page adding a brace. In the last league meeting to date in February 2015, Surbiton scraped a 3-2 win, Middleton, Evans and Hollie Pearne-Webb just doing enough to earn all three points. Tori Wensley and current Surbiton player, Erica Sanders scored for Beeston.
East Grinstead, who have an identical record to Holcombe in second place, host Clifton Robinsons whilst Holcombe travel to Slough. Buckingham visit Canterbury and Bowdon Hightown welcome the University of Birmingham to Altrincham.
Entry to Beeston on Saturday is £5 with the club staging Oktoberfest.
Supporters unable to get to Nottingham can watch the match online. More information can be found at the Beeston HC website