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L1 Visit University of Birmingham On Sat.


2nd October 2020

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Ladies visit the University of Birmingham for their third Women's Hockey League Premier Division match of the season (push back 2.30 pm).

Please note that spectators are not allowed to attend this match.

Surbiton were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Loughborough Students last Saturday and will want to get back to winning ways at a venue where they have had a fair share of success since they made their debut in the top flight in 2012-13.

Surbiton won on their first five visits to the Second City before losing twice in a row in 2017-18, when they lost 3-1 and 2018-19 when they lost 1-0.

Surbiton were dominant from 2014-15 to 2016-17 when they racked up wins of 4-0, 3-0 and 6-0 before losing for the first time in 2017-18.

With several players having played for both Birmingham and Surbiton, it is no surprise that both Erica Sanders and Hannah Martin have scored for both teams in this fixture and current Surbiton player, Alice Wills, who came to Sugden Road via Holcombe was one of Birmingham's scorers in the 3-1 win.

Birmingham had a bye week in Week 1 and began their season with a narrow loss at Buckingham last Saturday, Buckingham coming back from 2-1 down to win 3-2 with two goals in as many minutes.

With long term coach Phil Gooderham having retired at the end of last season, it is the start of a new era for a club which has survived in the Premier Division since 2009-10, sometimes against the odds due to enforced player turnover, but tomorrow's game with Surbiton is Birmingham's 200th regular season Premier Division game.

Last season, Birmingham finished ninth and would normally have faced the loser of the Division One North/ South playoff over two legs, but the early end of the season gave them a reprieve as the division was expanded to eleven teams for what is planned to be one season only.

Elsewhere, East Grinstead are poised to go 18 games unbeaten, the equivalent of a whole season if they avoid defeat at home to Buckingham.

Loughborough, buoyed by their 0-0 draw with Surbiton travel to play Hampstead & Westminster, the game being played a Bisham Abbey because Paddington Recreation Ground is not available.

Holcombe host Wimbledon in the first leg of a men's/ women's double header at Holcombe Park and Beeston are at home to newly promoted Swansea with both teams looking for their first points and goals of the season and Beeston hoping to end a four game losing streak in which they have failed to score.