Men’s Hockey League Premier Division – 11 November 2017
SURBITON 5–3 READING
Scorers: David Goodfield 18-F, Alan Forsyth 25-F, 54-F; Luke Taylor 30-PC, Arjan Drayton Chana 69-F
Squad: Harry Gibson (GK); Luke Taylor, Jonny Gall, Arjan Drayton Chana, Zach Wallace, Gareth Furlong, Alan Forsyth, Brendan Creed, David Goodfield, Nick Parkes, James Gall.
Subs: Lewis Prosser (5″), Rob Farrington (8″), Chris Grassick (Capt.) (8″), Willie Marshall (8″), Sam Spencer (9″)
Umpires: Dan Barstow and Mark Jarvis
Match Official: James Boylan
Surbiton Men maintained their two point lead over second placed Beeston in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division, but had a couple of scares before seeing off a spirited Reading squad at Sugden Road on Saturday evening.
Surbiton led 4-1 with 16 minutes remaining, but Reading scored twice to put Surbiton under pressure before a late goal clinched a 5-3 win for the reigning champions.
Captain Chris Grassick returned to Surbiton’s squad in a match which saw both sides come close to scoring early.
In the tenth minute it was Edward Carson who opened the scoring from the left of the circle to give Reading the lead.
Eight minutes later, Surbiton were back on level terms, David Goodfield spinning round before beating former Surbiton goalkeeper, Tommy Alexander.
In the 25th minute, James Gall set up Surbiton’s second goal, Alan Forsyth putting away the rebound from Alexander’s save into the roof of the net in emphatic fashion.
On the half hour, Luke Taylor’s drag-flick from Surbiton’s second penalty corner gave Surbiton a 3-1 lead which they held until half time.
The crowd watching in chilly conditions had been warmed up by the quality finishes, but they had to wait until the 54th minute for Surbiton to extend their lead, Arjan Drayton Chana crossing from the right for Forsyth to score his second goal of the game and leave Surbiton apparently cruising with a 4-1 lead.
Teams are sometimes more vulnerable immediately after they have scored and Reading proved the point, replying within a minute, James Carson finding the backboard to give Reading’s travelling support optimism for the final fifteen minutes.
And when Reading’s leading goalscorer, Ben Boon finished from open play with eight minutes remaining, the Sonning Lane club had even more reason to believe they could take at least a point back to Berkshire.
In the penultimate minute those hopes were finally ended, Drayton Chana scoring from the edge of the circle to complete a 5-3 win in a good game of entertaining hockey.
Beeston beat East Grinstead 5-2 to stay two points behind Surbiton. Holcombe beat Brooklands Manchester University 3-0 and Hampstead & Westminster beat Sevenoaks 6-1 to remain third and fourth respectively.
Wimbledon closed to within a point of sixth placed Reading after their 2-1 home win over Canterbury, who remain bottom of the table on goal difference behind Kent rivals, Sevenoaks.
Surbiton travel to Brooklands Manchester University next Sunday (19 November) push back 2 pm. Brooklands are eighth, three points ahead of both Sevenoaks and Canterbury.