L1 Visit Loughborough On Saturday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies visit Leicestershire on Saturday when they face Loughborough Students in their second Women's Hockey League Premier Division game of the season (Push Back 2 pm).
Both teams will go into the game having won their opening matches, keeping a clean sheet in the process.
Surbiton beat a depleted Buckingham team 3-0 at Sugden Road thanks to a second half double from Lottie Ross after Eloise Stenner broke the deadlock two minutes before half time.
Loughborough won on the road, Izzy Petter's 14th minute goal enough to sink Holcombe in Kent.
Last season, Surbiton visited Loughborough on opening day and had to battle before coming out on top 3-2. Surbiton seemed to be in control after Georgie Twigg and Alice Sharp gave them a 2-0 lead after just 13 minutes, but Petter, making her league debut for Students against her former club and Beth Peers struck twice in two minutes to level matters at 2-2.
Emily Defroand scored the winner in the second half, but Loughborough were unlucky not to salvage a point after Lucy Millington missed a penalty stroke.
In the return game in February, Loughborough battled again after Erica Sanders put Surbiton ahead in the third minute, Genevieve Hussell levelling in the 18th minute. Although Emily Atkinson quickly restored Surbiton's lead they had to wait for Atkinson to add her second goal with just four minutes to play to secure a 3-1 victory.
Loughborough achieved their ambition of maintaining their top flight status, finishing in a healthy seventh place and will want to improve in 2020-21
Elsewhere on Saturday, the University of Birmingham finally get their league campaign underway after being allocated the first bye week of the season with a trip to Buckingham.
Fledgling leaders Wimbledon travel to Bristol to take on Clifton Robinsons following their 4-0 home win over also promoted, Swansea. Clifton lost 2-1 at home to East Grinstead last Saturday.
Swansea host Holcombe in their first home game at top flight level and East Grinstead are at home to Beeston.
Beeston lost 2-0 at home to Hampstead & Westminster, whose turn it is to have a bye week.