Men’s Hockey League Premier Division – 11 November 2018

HOLCOMBE 16 SURBITON

Scorers: Tom Sorsby 12-F, Alan Forsyth 23-PS, 34-F, 45-PC, 55-F; David Goodfield 30-F
Squad: Tim Atkins, Lewis Prosser, Tom Sorsby, Ben Boon, Jonathan Gall (Capt.), Arjan Drayton-Chana, James Royce, Alan Forsyth, Brendan Creed, Nick Parkes, Taylor Seager-Green (GK)

Subs: David Goodfield (6 mins), Hayden Beltz (7), Sam Spencer (8), William Marshall (10).

Umpires: Nick Bennett and Sean Edwards

Match Official: Janet Sutton

Surbiton Men timed their best performance of the season so far to perfection, coming back from conceding a goal in the first minute to win 6-1 at Holcombe and stay top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Before the game, both teams and umpires lined up either side of the halfway line to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday.

Surbiton gave a league debut to Hayden Beltz and welcomed back David Goodfield and Brendan Creed into the squad.

The game started in drizzle and after both teams exchanged quick turnovers, it was Holcombe who were quick out of the traps, forcing a fine save from Surbiton goalkeeper, Taylor Seager-Green. Holcombe’s leading goalscorer, Nick Bandarak then scored in an intense first 34 seconds of action to not only put the hosts ahead but for Bandurak to join Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth as the division’s top goalscorer with twelve goals.

Surbiton took time to settle down, and by the time the rain had stopped and a dazzling sun appeared, Beltz just missed the chance to score on his debut with a shot past the left post. Surbiton were level in the twelfth minute, Tom Sorsby scoring his first league goal for the club.

Holcombe fell further behind in the 23rd minute after James Royce’s shot from Surbiton’s third penalty corner was stopped by a defender to concede a penalty stroke. Surbiton were briefly frustrated as the ball went in the net after the stroke was awarded but Forsyth nipped ahead of Bandarak in the top scorer stakes, beating Holcombe goalkeeper, Richard Curtis to give the visitors the lead for the first time.

On the half hour, Surbiton struck again, this time David Goodfield’s shot rebounding off the backboard to extend their lead to 3-1. Incredibly a minute before half time, Holcombe found themselves further behind as Forsyth scored from the right of the circle before celebrating a 4-1 interval advantage that nobody could really have predicted before the match.

Although Holcombe had occasional chances to get back into the match, Surbiton were the dominant force, Forsyth completing his hat-trick in the 45th minute pouncing to put away a rebound from his side’s seventh penalty corner after Tim Atkins’ shot was saved by Curtis.

With fifteen minutes to play, Forsyth scored his fourth goal of the game, diving to the floor to push the ball past Curtis and off the backboard to complete a comprehensive victory and end Surbiton’s barren run at Holcombe Park in emphatic style.

The rain returned near the end of the match but it failed to dampen Surbiton’s spirits as the final whistle sounded to confirm Holcombe’s biggest home defeat in four seasons in the top flight.

Surbiton still lead Hampstead & Westminster on goal difference, but extended that advantage to eleven goals after Hampstead had to battle to a 5-4 home win over Brooklands Manchester University. Beeston are two points behind third placed Holcombe after being held 1-1 at home by Reading.

East Grinstead are a point further back in fifth after they came back from 3-0 down to win 4-3 at home to Wimbledon. The University of Exeter moved back off the bottom of the table with a 3-2 home win over Sevenoaks, two points adrift in the basement.

Surbiton visit Sevenoaks next Sunday (push back 2 pm).