M1 Host The University of Exeter on Sunday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men will go back to the top of the Men's Hockey League Premier Division if they beat the University of Exeter at Sugden Road on Sunday (push back 2.30 pm).
Surbiton were knocked off the top on goal difference last weekend after Old Georgians beat the University of Durham 6-0 a day after Surbiton won 6-1 at Old Georgians.
However, on Saturday night (30 October) Wimbledon beat Old Georgians 2-0 at Raynes Park High School to go top of the table, with Surbiton moving ahead of Old Georgians into second on goal difference.
Trailing Wimbledon by three points with two games in hand, Surbiton already have a superior goal difference (plus 21 to Wimbledon's plus 18) so a win over the Devon university would see Surbiton return to the summit on goal difference.
Exeter have only ever beaten Surbiton once: 4-3 in February 2010 in Devon. Exeter have drawn three times with Surbiton: twice at Sugden Road and once in Exeter and always 1-1.
But when the teams last met in the 2019-20 season, Surbiton won 7-0 at home and 8-2 in Devon.
Exeter come to Surbiton on a streak of 13 successive defeats, but if they perform as well as they did at Hampstead & Westminster, where Hampstead had to come from 3-1 down before winning 4-3, Exeter could cause Surbiton unexpected problems.
On form, Surbiton will be favourites having also beaten Brooklands Manchester University 9-1 at home and Oxted 5-2 away, but it should be remembered that of Exeter's five defeats this season, four have been by a single goal margin, the exception being the 5-1 home loss to Old Georgians.
Exeter lost 2-1 at Brooklands Manchester University; 4-3 at Hampstead; 2-1 at Oxted and 2-1 at home to Wimbledon.
Matt Lowrey is the only Exeter player to have scored twice this season, Seb Ansley, Luke Brown, Patrick Hunter, Jake Payton and Matt Simmond having shared the other five goals.
And the game will be held on the traditional Old Members Day at Surbiton HC.