Men’s Hockey League Premier Division – 3 February 2018
SEVENOAKS 1–3 SURBITON
Scorers: Conor Williamson 12-F, Luke Taylor 23-PC, Dave Bartram 59-F
Squad: Harry Gibson (GK); Luke Taylor, Jonny Gall (Capt.), Arjan Drayton Chana, Zach Wallace, Brendan Creed, David Goodfield, Dave Bartram, Adam Buckle, Sam Spencer, James Gall.
Subs: Lewis Prosser (6″), Morgan Males (9″), Conor Williamson (9″), Gareth Furlong (10″). Sub Not Used: Rob Farrington
Umpires: Dan Barstow and Campbell Reeman
Match Official: Ray Strudwick
Surbiton Men completed the double over Sevenoaks with a 3-1 win at Holly Bush Lane on Saturday night, having won 6-2 at Sugden Road earlier in the season.
With Alan Forsyth, Chris Grassick, William Marshall and Nick Parkes all unavailable as they were on Scotland duty at the Five Nations in Malaga (all four players were in the starting line-up which lost 3-0 to Spain on Saturday), Surbiton included Adam Buckle, Morgan Males and Conor Williamson in the squad, players all selected to play in the National Age Group Squads (NAGS) last week.
Lewis Prosser and Gareth Furlong returned from Wales duty.
Sevenoaks put the Surbiton defence under pressure from the start and were unlucky not to be rewarded for their endeavours. Surbiton goalkeeper, Harry Gibson proved unbeatable from penalty corners and the Surbiton defence generally mopped up Sevenoaks’ attacks.
Buckle and Williamson combined to open the scoring in the 12th minute in spectacular fashion. In the 23rd minute, Luke Taylor’s drag-flick rebounded off the backboard to double Surbiton’s lead on a soggy evening in Kent when rain fell for most of the match.
The game was effectively put beyond Sevenoaks’ reach in the 59th minute when Buckle made a forward run before pulling the ball back for Dave Bartram to finish in emphatic fashion from the edge of the circle, giving Sevenoaks goalkeeper, Richard Potton no chance.
With two minutes remaining, Sevenoaks scored a deserved goal, Tejinder Hanspal, one of their two scorers at Sugden Road tapping in at the left post to score a consolation goal.
Both sides contributed to an entertaining game in far from ideal conditions and although Sevenoaks’ Hanspal and Tom Moore were shown green cards, together with Surbiton’s Buckle, it did not detract from the entertainment in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
The victory gave Surbiton a seven point lead over Beeston, but on Sunday the Nottingham club reduced the deficit back to four points with a game in hand thanks to their 2-0 home win over Holcombe. Reading stayed third after a 5-0 win at Canterbury. East Grinstead remain fourth following their 2-1 home win over Brooklands Manchester University. In the London derby, Wimbledon moved above Hampstead & Westminster into fifth place with a 3-1 win at Paddington Rec.
Surbiton host Canterbury at 2 pm next Sunday (11 February). Canterbury are battling with Sevenoaks to avoid relegation and only trail their Kent rivals on goal difference. Surbiton beat Canterbury 6-2 at Polo Farm on the opening day of the season.