L1 At Home To Clifton Robinsons On Saturday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies play their final Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division match of 2022 on Saturday (3 December) when they host Clifton Robinsons at Sugden Road (push back 2 pm).
The match will be only Surbiton's second ever December national league match and their first at home, having previously won 3-1 at Beeston on 7 December 2019.
Surbiton are guaranteed to finish 2022 on the top of the Premier Division table as they go into the Clifton Robinsons clash with a five point lead over second placed Wimbledon, but Clifton will be looking anxiously over their shoulders if they don't get at least a draw as Loughborough Students can overtake them with a win at Reading in the battle for a Top Six spot.
History is against Clifton as they have only ever beaten Surbiton once in eighteen regular season meetings, but the victory came at Sugden Road in March 2020 when Kathryn Lane's goal proved to be the only goal of the match.
Surbiton have won thirteen with four games drawn, with the most recent meeting ending in a 3-0 win at home to Clifton in March. When the teams first met in the Premier Division in 2012-13, the first three meetings were drawn with the fourth draw coming at Coombe Dingle on the opening day of the 2021-22 season.
Clifton have been inconsistent this season and their Achilles heel has proved to be against University teams as they lost 2-1 at the University of Birmingham; 3-1 at Loughborough Students and 2-1 at home to the University of Nottingham.
They started the season with two wins: 2-0 at home to Holcombe and 2-1 at Reading before their defeat at Birmingham. A 3-0 home win over Beeston was followed by a home 1-1 draw with East Grinstead before their loss at Loughborough. A 2-2 draw at Wimbledon preceded the defeat to Nottingham and a 3-0 home win against Buckingham was followed by a 5-1 loss at Hampstead & Westminster.
Amy Burton, Eloise Laity and Phoebe Richards have each scored three goals for Clifton with Katrin Gierak and Abi Porter both scoring twice. Emily Drysdale, Catherine Macaulay, former Surbiton player Holly Munro and Izzy Webb have also been on target for the Bristol club this season.
Clifton will also be hoping to end Surbiton's defensive run at Sugden Road in 2022-23 as Surbiton are yet to concede a goal at home. All four goals they have conceded have come on their away trips: in the 2-1 loss at Wimbledon; the 6-1 win at Buckingham and the 3-1 victory at Beeston.
Sophie Hamilton's quick fire hat-trick versus the University of Birmingham last Saturday saw her become the leading goalscorer in the Premier Division this season with nine goals, one ahead of East Grinstead's Sophie Bray and Tess Howard and was her second hat-trick of the season, after netting a treble at Loughborough Students in the first match of the campaign.
Before the outdoor season resumes in 2023, Surbiton will be competing in the Super 6s Championships Premier Division at Repton over two weekends in January, having been promoted from Division One in 2022.
As this is the final weekend of the first half of the outdoor season, all Premier Division games start at 2 pm. Wimbledon are at home to the University of Nottingham; Hampstead & Westminster visit Beeston; East Grinstead are at home to Buckingham and Holcombe travel to the University of Birmingham.