Men’s Hockey League Premier Division – 21 October 2017
HOLCOMBE 4–2 SURBITON
Scorers: Alan Forsyth 34-F, Arjan Drayton Chana 64-F
Squad: Harry Gibson (GK); Luke Taylor, Rob Farrington, Luke Noblett, Jonny Gall, Chris Grassick (Capt.), Willie Marshall, Alan Forsyth, Brendan Creed, David Goodfield, James Gall.
Subs: Lewis Prosser (7″), Arjan Drayton Chana (7″), Sam Spencer (8″), Gareth Furlong (11″). Sub not used: Dave Bartram.
Umpires: Will Champness and Sean Edwards.
Match Official: Sue Row
Holcombe ended Surbiton Men’s unbeaten league record this season, coming back from 1-0 down to win 4-2 at Holcombe Park on Saturday evening. Surbiton had gone 21 regular season games unbeaten since their last visit to Holcombe on the opening day of the 2016-17 season.
Having gained their first ever league win over Wimbledon, the week before the result was disappointing for the reigning league champions.
With the wind still prone to gusts, but thankfully with dry conditions, both teams tried to play attacking hockey in the difficult conditions.
Defences were on top for most of the first half before the game came to life in the last six minutes before half time.
Surbiton captain, Chris Grassick came close to opening the scoring when his shot rebounded off the left post in the 29th minute, but a minute before half time, his Scottish team-mate Alan Forsyth smashed the ball downwards and over the goal-line to put Surbiton ahead.
The lead was very short lived, Nicholas Bandurak levelling just before half time to the delight of the home crowd, also from open play.
Five minutes into the second half, Holcombe were awarded a penalty stroke following their fourth penalty corner of the game. Bandurak stepped up and made no mistake, slotting the ball to Surbiton goalkeeper, Harry Gibson’s right to give the hosts the lead for the first time.
With both teams attacking in the windy conditions and home goalkeeper, George Pinner in fine form, Holcombe extended their lead in the 58th minute, Barry Middleton’s fine finish leaving Surbiton trailing 3-1.
With seven minutes to play, another attack resulted in Bandurak completing his hat-trick and giving Surbiton a mountain to climb facing a 4-1 deficit.
Within a minute the deficit had been reduced to 4-2, Arjan Drayton Chana scoring for the second week running, again from the right of the circle but this time finding the board rather then the crossbar to give Surbiton a faint hope of salvaging something from the game.
Holcombe saw out the remaining minutes, moving up to fifth with their third league win out of five this season.
Beeston went top with a 4-2 home win over Hampstead & Westminster. The Nottingham club hold a single point lead.
East Grinstead are third following their 6-1 win over Canterbury and can move above Surbiton into second if they beat Wimbledon on Sunday as they have a better goal difference.
Reading are fourth having beaten Wimbledon 3-2 at Sonning Lane. Newly promoted Sevenoaks gained their first ever Premier Division win with a 3-1 home victory over Brooklands Manchester University.
Surbiton host Beeston in a much anticipated league match next Sunday (29 October) at 2 pm at Sugden Road.