M1 v Old Georgians - Preview
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men host local rivals Old Georgians in a much anticipated match up at 4 pm on Super Saturday.
In the first meeting under floodlights at St. George's College in November, Surbiton inflicted Old Georgians' first ever defeat in the Men's Hockey League Premier Division, winning 4-3 after Tom Carson opened the scoring for Old Georgians, only for Alan Forsyth to equalise within a minute.
Surbiton then seemed to be cruising as they led 3-1 thanks to Luke Taylor and Tom Sorsby, only for Lee Morton to score two quick goals to make the score 3-3. Forsyth popped up again with six minutes left to sneak the win for the league leaders.
Old Georgians are in their first ever season in the top flight, and made an instant impact, Carson scoring in the first minute of their first match as they went on to beat the University of Exeter 5-1 at home.
A 4-3 win at Hampstead was followed by a 3-3 draw at home to Wimbledon, before two away wins at East Grinstead (5-0) and Beeston (2-1) saw them top the table.
Another 3-3 home draw, this time against Holcombe saw them drop to second, but they kept up their excellent away form with a 3-1 win at Brooklands Manchester University.
The home defeat to Surbiton was followed by an incredible 5-4 win at Holcombe after they conceded in the first minute. After a 3-1 win in the return game against Brooklands, Old Georgians drew 4-4 at relegation threatened Reading before they finished 2019 with a 4-2 loss at Wimbledon.
Old Georgians were due to play Beeston at home last weekend but Storm Dennis interfered with the Nottingham club's travel plans.
The postponement means that hockey fans hopefully will get the first opportunity to see Sam Ward make his comeback after his horrific eye injury sustained during the Olympic Qualifiers at Lee Valley.
Ward had scored seven goals for Old Georgians before injury struck, with Tom Carson leading the way on 13 and former Surbiton player, James Tindall on ten.
Andy Bull has scored three goals with Morton not adding to his brace against Surbiton. Tom Watson and Ashley Jackson have also scored twice with the remaining goals shared between James Albery, Matt Richards and Edward Carson.
Surbiton Men will be looking to bounce back from dropping their first points of the campaign in a 1-1 draw at a damp Paddington Recreation Ground last Sunday, as they go on to visit East Grinstead on Sunday (push back 2.30 pm).
Before that, elsewhere on Saturday, the University of Exeter, who lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with a 3-2 home win over Reading, make the long trip to Brooklands. Hampstead & Westminster are at home to Reading; Beeston host Holcombe and Wimbledon are at home to East Grinstead.