Having drawn their last two home league games, Surbiton Ladies travel to Bristol to face Clifton Robinsons in another key Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division match on Saturday (push back 1 pm).
The match will be played at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex, Bristol BS9 2BJ.
Surbiton trail the University of Birmingham by one point after Birmingham beat Clifton Robinsons 5-0 last Saturday, Erica Sanders scoring four goals with Flora Peel scoring the other goal.
Clifton have been sucked in to the relegation battle at the bottom of the table and are only one point clear of Canterbury and Slough and three points above bottom club, Leicester.
Canterbury lifted themselves out of the relegation places completely following their 3-2 home win over Buckingham, as the Kent club maintained their recent unbeaten run.
In contrast, Clifton have dropped down the table, not helped by an eight game run without a win since the 21 October after a 3-0 home win over Bowdon Hightown. Then, Clifton were fourth but have dropped down to seventh, but with so few points separating them from the bottom of the table, the Bristol club could well be battling for their top flight status over the last five games of the regular season.
Clifton started with a 2-0 home win over Leicester before losing 3-1 at Sugden Road.
Birmingham won 4-1 in Bristol before a 2-1 win at Canterbury, the 3-0 home win over Bowdon Hightown and a 1-1 draw at Holcombe lifted them from ninth to fifth.
Since then Clifton have drawn three and lost four of their last seven matches. Two draws came against Slough (2-2 away and 0-0 home) and 1-1 at home to Canterbury; with defeats at Buckingham (3-2), Holcombe (3-0), and the University of Birmingham (5-0) and a 4-3 defeat at home to East Grinstead.
Of Clifton’s 18 goals, three have come from Jo Leigh and Claire Thomas with Lisa Daley, Fiona Burnet, Abigail Porter and former Surbiton player, Hannah Coulson all having been on target twice. Elena Emo, Natasha Marke-Jones, Tara Chittenden and Zoe Leach have shared the other four goals between them.
Meanwhile, Surbiton will want to get back to winning ways after suffering two frustrating home draws against Canterbury and Bowdon Hightown and take full advantage if Birmingham slip up at East Grinstead.
Bowdon Hightown host Canterbury in potentially interesting clash with Holcombe at home to Buckingham.
Leicester have the weekend off as their home game with Slough has been postponed until 4 March due to Slough’s participation in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Prague. Slough made a disappointing start, losing their opening two pool games, 5-3 to Dinamo Elektrostal of Russia and 2-0 to Royal White Star of Belgium. Both teams have qualified for the semi-finals, so Slough will carry forward their third pool result against French club Stade Français to the relegation Pool C when the teams meet on Saturday morning.