M1 Visit Holcombe On Sunday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men travel to Holcombe on Sunday afternoon for another key Men's Hockey League Premier Division clash (push back 2 pm).
After Saturday night's action, Surbiton find themselves with a six point lead over second placed Wimbledon with two games in hand after Hampstead & Westminster beat Wimbledon 2-1 at Raynes Park High School.
And Old Georgians also lost ground after they were held to a 4-4 draw at bottom club Reading, a result which saw Reading close to within a point of ninth placed University of Exeter having played a game more.
With eight games remaining, it looks as if the top four teams might already be decided but Holcombe will want to harbour hopes of pegging back a nine point gap for as long as possible, starting with victory over Surbiton on Sunday.
Holcombe have won three of their ten league games so far but may count the cost of having drawn four matches when assessing their playoff chances.
Two of those victories came in the first two games, 5-3 at home to East Grinstead and 2-0 at the University of Exeter but they had a rude awakening at home to Hampstead when they lost 6-1.
A third victory, 3-2 at Reading put them back in third place from fourth, but two successive 3-3 draws, at home to Wimbledon and away to Old Georgians saw them drop out of the playoff zone into fifth where they have stayed.
Surbiton beat them 3-1 at Sugden Road where Ben Boon scored twice and Arjan Drayton Chana also found the net after Nick Bandurak put Holcombe ahead.
A 2-2 draw at home to Beeston was followed by a frustrating 5-4 defeat at home to Old Georgians after they led 2-0 after just five minutes.
Last week they came close to getting all three points away at Hampstead and Westminster but had to settle for a 4-4 draw after Hampstead equalised through a late penalty stroke.
Bandurak and Barry Middleton have been leading the way with nine and six goals respectively this season, with Robert Field contributing four and Mark Gleghorne scoring three goals from penalty corners.
Jeremy Edwards and Harry Trusler have both scored twice with Tom O'Keeffe and Oliver Walker each scoring once.
Surbiton will be aiming to maintain their one hundred per cent record after winning their tenth game of the season last Saturday, 4-0 at home to Reading.
The first half of the season will be completed next Saturday (7 December) when the University of Exeter come to Elmbridge (push back 4.30 pm).