Men’s Hockey League Premier Division – 10 March 2018
READING 3–1 SURBITON
Scorer: Alan Forsyth 23-PS
Squad: Luke Taylor, Lewis Prosser, Jonny Gall, Chris Grassick, Arjan Drayton-Chana, Willie Marshall, Zach Wallace, Gareth Furlong, Alan Forsyth, Sam Spencer, Taylor Seager-Green (GK).
Subs: Conor Williamson (7″), Adam Buckle (8″), Morgan Males (8″).
Umpires: Bruce Bale and Dan Barstow
Match Official: Andrew Marson
Surbiton Men’s hopes of finishing top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division suffered a setback when they lost their rearranged match at Reading, 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The game had originally been postponed on 24 February due to concerns about ice forming on the pitch close to the push back time as temperatures dropped after sunset. However, conditions were milder as the teams finally met on the pitch with the threat of rain averted.
All the goals came in the first half. Tom Carson came close to giving Reading an early lead after just mistiming his dive to deflect the ball into the goal.
Reading took the lead in the 17th minute, when they were awarded a penalty stroke. Richard Mantell slotted the ball past Taylor Seager-Green and then doubled Reading’s lead three minutes later, this time from a penalty corner.
Surbiton fought back and forced a penalty stroke of their own which Alan Forsyth dispatched past former Surbiton goalkeeper, Tommy Alexander. Four minutes before half time, Mantell completed his hat-trick finding the backboard from Reading’s second penalty corner to restore Reading’s two goal advantage.
Seager-Green denied Reading a first half penalty corner hat-trick with a fine save.
In the second half, Surbiton faced a barrage of penalty corners which they successfully defended, Seager-Green making a double save on one occasion followed by a diving save to his left on another as Reading threatened to extend their lead. Reading were also denied by the left post from a penalty corner, Surbiton’s defence able to clear the danger.
Arjan Drayton-Chana was a threat and for the second week running was seemingly injured after going down in the circle, but thankfully was fine to continue and didn’t need the services of the physio.
Forsyth and Marshall forced fine saves from Alexander but the ball wouldn’t run for Surbiton as they fell to their second successive defeat.
Beeston now trail Surbiton by a single point with a game in hand and host Sevenoaks on Sunday. Surbiton make the short trip across London to Hampstead & Westminster. Reading’s victory enabled them to close the gap to five points behind Surbiton with a game in hand, and move above Wimbledon into third place. Hampstead need the win on Sunday to keep in touch with the top four.
The match at Paddington Recreation Ground starts at 1.30 pm.