Surbiton’s men came from 2-0 down with twenty minutes remaining to draw 2-2 in a thrilling Men’s Hockey League Premier Division local derby with Hampstead & Westminster on Saturday evening.

Surbiton gave debuts to Rob Farrington and Robert Mugridge and almost made the perfect start at Sugden Road in front of a massive crowd of around 700 people.

Hampstead’s opening pushback was quickly intercepted and only former Surbiton goalkeeper, David Kettle prevented Arjan Drayton Chana from giving the hosts the lead after just eleven seconds.

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Surbiton’s Arjan Drayton Chana (centre) almost gave his team a quickfire lead from the opening pushback. Photo: Tim Reder Photography.

Matt Daly was unlucky not to find the target from Surbiton’s first two penalty corners, whilst Brendan Creed’s shot struck the left post from Surbiton’s third penalty corner.

And Alan Forsyth also went close in the 20th minute as Surbiton’s luck deserted them in their attempt to finish after all their hard work creating chances.

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Surbiton’s Richie Hildreth made his home debut on Saturday night. Photo: Tim Reder Photography.

To add insult to injury, Hampstead took the lead in the 32nd minute, Matt Guise-Brown, who had scored a hat-trick against Canterbury in their opening fixture, finding the target once again with a penalty corner shot which clipped the top of the backboard and netting.

And it was Guise-Brown, who in the 50th minute, doubled Hampstead’s lead with his fifth goal of the season and left Surbiton wondering what they had to do to get something from the match.

In the 54th minute, Forsyth started the comeback, smashing the ball past Kettle to reduce the arrears.

And then with just three minutes left, Matt Daly converted Surbiton’s seventh penalty corner and in the process scored his 200th goal in domestic competition to snatch a point under the Sugden Road floodlights.

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Surbiton’s Matt Daly celebrates his milestone goal under the Sugden Road floodlights on Saturday evening. Photo: Tim Reder Photography,

Alongside Kettle, Hampstead included former Surbiton players Will Calnan, Michael Watt, Rupert Shipperley, Geoff Mccabe and Stephen Kelly.

Holcombe are the new MHL Premier Division leaders after a 3-0 win at Reading. Beeston are second after a 3-2 win at Brooklands Manchester University.

Hampstead drop from first to third, with East Grinstead in fourth following their 4-3 win at bottom club, Canterbury.

On Sunday, Wimbledon replaced Holcombe at the top of the Premier Division with a 2-0 home win over Loughborough Students.

Surbiton: Gibson (GK); Creed, Prosser, Farrington, Goodfield, Gall, Wallace, Furlong, Drayton Chana, Forsyth, Ansell.
Subs: Daly, Hildreth, Males, Marshall, Mugridge.

Colin Pike